Be Prepared This Fall & Winter Virus Season

Every season comes with its pros and cons. Fall and winter are no exception — with the cozy sweaters, trick-or-treating, and Sunday football, we also get clunky jackets, icy roads, and fall and winter viruses. And while there are many things about fall and winter that we love, one thing is for sure: we want to avoid severe illness from viruses like flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). CDC anticipates a rise in these viruses this fall and winter, which can put a strain on our healthcare system.

But there’s good news: This year we’re in our strongest position yet to protect ourselves from the most severe complications from flu, COVID-19, and RSV. Fortunately, there are safe and effective immunizations, proven treatments, and common-sense precautions we can take that will help protect ourselves and our loved ones.

While you might not be able to prevent your favorite football team from losing or your favorite sweaters from shrinking in the wash, you can protect yourself from catching a respiratory virus that will stop you from enjoying all the fall fun. Below are the top three steps you can take to protect yourself and others this fall and winter virus season.

  1. Vaccinate: Make sure you and your loved ones are up-to-date on recommended vaccines (flu vaccine, the updated COVID-19 vaccine, and RSV vaccine or immunization).
  2. Prevent: In addition to vaccination, you can take other CDC-recommended preventive actions like covering coughs and sneezes, frequent handwashing, and staying home when you are sick to help protect you and reduce the spread of respiratory viruses such as flu, COVID-19 and RSV. (Depending on your risk, you might consider wearing a high-quality well-fitting mask and opening windows to keep air moving when possible as part of these everyday preventive actions.)
  3. Treat: There are treatments for some respiratory illnesses including flu and COVID-19. If you are at higher risk of developing serious complications from flu, RSV, or COVID-19, talk to a healthcare provider about what to do if you get sick and follow their treatment advice.

Stay protected against viruses to make the most of this fall and winter season. Learn more about which vaccines are right for you and additional details on how to stay safe this season by visiting cdc.gov/respiratory-viruses.

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