Healthy Holidays to You
It is common to see an increase of illness during the winter months, and this year is no exception. The cold weather brings everyone indoors, keeping them in close contact with each other. People are traveling, taking germs with them when they go and—unfortunately—bringing new ones back to share with friends & family.
Cascade County is currently experiencing an uptick in illness, including influenza, norovirus, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus, a common virus that can be serious for infants and immunocompromised adults).
All these illnesses have different symptoms but can be largely prevented in the same ways. To stay healthy and prevent work or school absenteeism throughout our community, remember to take these steps:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water (an alcohol-based hand sanitizer works if soap and water is not readily available).
- Completely cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Set a routine to clean & disinfect frequently used surfaces and objects, like telephones and doorknobs. This is especially important after an episode of illness. Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces and remove and wash any clothing or linens that may be contaminated after an episode of illness.
- Don’t prepare food if you are sick.
- Sick individuals should stay home and avoid close contact with others.
- The holiday season can lead to less rest and more stress, making you more likely to get sick. Allow yourself to take a break if you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or out of control, and manage stress with plenty of sleep and by connecting with people who support you.
- Eat enough fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Those antioxidants support your immune system!
- Go to the doctor if you or your child are experiencing prolonged or severe symptoms.
One additional weapon available against illnesses like influenza is vaccination. The City-County Health Department has immunization experts on hand to give flu shots and teach you more about preventing illness.
“We are committed to helping ensure the continued health of our residents and are working hard to contact anyone who could have been exposed to illness so that they can be tested and treated, as appropriate,” says Trisha Gardner, Health Officer for CCHD. She adds, “We are grateful for the continued help and support of our partners and the community as we all work together to stop the spread of these illnesses.”
Please contact the Cascade City-County Health Department at 406-454-6950 with any questions or comments.