Winter Respiratory Illnesses: COVID, Flu, RSV, and more

Celebrate the holidays safely! Stay up to date with seasonal shots for you and your family.

The best way to prevent winter respiratory illnesses is to get your flu shot and state up to date on COVID shots. Vaccines are the best protection for those viruses and help to lower the overall amount of respiratory illness. If you have already received your vaccines, encourage your family, friends, coworkers and others to protect themselves and get theirs.

What to know:

  • Cases of COVID, flu and RSV are rising, and will continue through fall and winter.
  • The State of Oregon issued an emergency declaration on November 14 because our pediatric hospitals are very full, mostly with cases of RSV in children. CD and flu hospitalizations are rising in all age groups. We are asking people to use all the good health practices we know help slow the spread of illness
  • All three winter respiratory illnesses are serious for pregnant people, older adults, and immunocompromised people. Flu and RSV can be serious in infants and young children.
  • Getting your seasonal flu vaccine and staying up to date on COVID shots do more than protect your own health. It also helps prevent the flu from spreading in your community and affecting young children, older people and people who already have chronic illnesses.
  • Keeping children up to date on all recommended childhood vaccines prevents several respiratory illnesses from spreading.
  • Información en español

Getting a flu or COVID shot is easy. Here’s where to go:

How you can get vaccinated in Clackamas County

Preventing the flu

There are several steps you can take to limit your chances of getting the flu. They are:

  • Wash your hands often with warm soapy water 15 to 20 seconds
  • Limit close contact with sick people
  • Limit your contact with others when sick
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may have germs
  • Stay at home if you're sick so you don't run the risk of infecting others
  • Getting the flu shot for everyone older than six months
  • Because the flu shot can take up to two weeks to be effective, get a flu shot now to reduce your likelihood of catching the flu. And remember: you cannot get the flu from a flu shot.

Signs and symptoms of the flu

If you think you may have the flu, signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Cough/sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Some are especially vulnerable to the flu

Some people are more likely to have serious problems from the flu that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Those populations are:

  • People with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease
  • Anyone younger than 5 or older than 65
  • Pregnant women

If you have one of these conditions, or live or work closely with someone who does, it is especially important to get vaccinated against the flu. If you think you have the flu, contact your health care provider.

Information from the Center for Disease Control




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