AeroCare reminds Odessa area residents to protect against illness

As fall and winter approach, the prevalence of respiratory illnesses is on the rise. Cases of the flu, COVID-19, pneumonia and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are all expected to increase over the coming months, bringing with them an array of unpleasant symptoms — such as a cough, fever, runny nose and difficulty breathing — and, in serious cases, can lead to further health complications and even death. However, there are methods of preventing these infections.

“There tends to be a spike in cases of the flu, as well as other airborne illnesses, during the colder months,” Program Director Kenneth Hawley said in a news release. “AeroCare is dedicated to helping communities remain healthy during this period.”

AeroCare encourages Odessa area residents to keep the following tips in mind to stay safe and healthy as flu season approaches.

Get vaccinated. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect against the flu, COVID-19, pneumonia and RSV. While the flu, COVID-19 and RSV are caused by one specific virus, there are multiple viruses that can lead to pneumonia. Ask a doctor or medical professional about which vaccinations are most appropriate to get.

Wash your hands. Cleaning your hands regularly is a good way to avoid ingesting germs that may cause sickness. Use soap and warm water, and wash for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Cover your mouth and nose. The flu, COVID-19, RSV and viruses that cause pneumonia can all spread via droplets released when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks. Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow whenever coughing or sneezing, or wear a mask to avoid infecting those around you.

Stay home if you are sick. To avoid spreading viruses to others, stay home if you are sick with the flu, COVID-19, RSV or pneumonia. Reducing the spread of these illnesses helps improve the collective health of the entire community.