Infectious disease expert: ‘Stay home when sick’


(NewsNation) — Ahead of the holiday season — a time when traveling, foot traffic and spreading of germs naturally picks up — doctors are especially concerned this year for the health of the general public, as COVID-19, the flu and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have kept hospital beds around the country full.

Health officials are calling the uptick of the three concurring viruses a tripledemic.

“We are in the midst of a true tripledemic,” Jacob Lemieux, an infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a Tuesday report.

Dr. Monica Gandhi, an expert in infectious diseases, joined NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Wednesday to discuss just how concerned Americans should be this holiday season.

According to the doctor, the answer depends on your age.

“Think about RSV as affecting the extremes of age — very young and much older.” With COVID, “older people who are not vaccinated or haven’t gotten boosted are more susceptible … everyone can get influenza, but still, the younger and the older are more susceptible,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi went on to offer tips for how to best navigate the holiday season, saying “it’s important to be together.”

“The best thing you can do is stay home when sick,” Gandhi said. “Keep ventilating. It’s a good thing to have your windows a little open when you can and always wash your hands,” Gandhi said.

Check out the rest of Gandhi’s advice and the interview above.

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