How Vulnerable People Can Stay Safe During Respiratory Illness Season

By Dr. Kenneth Kronlund
Department of Internal Medicine

The risk of having a dangerous COVID-19 or flu infection increases with age and for people with serious health conditions. Therefore, it’s important for them to be particularly mindful about how to deter serious illness. The first step to staying safe is making sure you are vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. If you do contract one of these viruses, being vaccinated greatly lessens your chance of a serious, life-threatening illness.

Effective treatments are available should you need them

If you are 65 or older or if you have serious health concerns such as a heart or lung condition, obesity or diabetes, or a weakened immune system, it’s especially important to start treatment early. Easy-to-use treatments such as Paxlovid for COVID-19 and Tamiflu for influenza are available and we want you to benefit from them. If you test positive or have concerning symptoms you should contact your primary care provider’s office or our Virtual ReadyMED team right away to see which treatment option is best for you.

Daily actions can help stop the spread of germs

Taking some simple steps can help prevent the spread of contagious respiratory illnesses like the flu and COVID-19. If you have cold-like symptoms, be sure to:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve (not your hands).
  • Stay home from work or school if you’re sick. If you can’t stay home wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, shaking hands, and sharing cups and eating utensils, with others.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and mobile devices.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if symptoms worsen.
  • Call 911 or visit the nearest Emergency Department if you’re experiencing any of these emergency symptoms, including difficulty breathing, chest pain, or seizures.

By taking preventative measures and staying up-to-date on vaccines, you’ll be helping protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from serious complications from COVID-19 and the flu.

How Vulnerable People Can Stay Safe During Respiratory Illness Season

About Kenneth Kronlund, MD

A physician for over two decades, Dr. Kenneth Kronlund has spent his entire career at Reliant Medical Group. Starting first in Urgent Care, he then became a practicing internist. Asked why he decided to make internal medicine his career, Dr Kronlund explains, “I chose to be an internist because I enjoy treating the full spectrum of medical issues that affect people as opposed to just concentrating in one area. But I think the biggest...

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