There are many precautions that can help you stay healthy and reduce your chances of getting sick with or spreading COVID-19, flu, or RSV. Here are a few of the most important and effective measures:

  1. Get vaccinated and boosted. You should get a flu shot if you haven’t already this year, and stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations with an updated booster dose. Everyone ages 6 months and older is eligible to get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19. There is not currently a vaccine to prevent RSV.
  2. Wear a mask. Wearing a high-quality, well-fitting mask is an effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and data show it also likely reduces the transmission of other respiratory illnesses like RSV and flu. These viruses spread from person to person via respiratory droplets, so properly wearing a high-quality mask helps prevent the spread of the virus to others, and it also helps protect the mask-wearer. The CDC continues to recommend wearing a mask indoors where COVID-19 Community Level is high, though anyone may choose to wear a mask to protect themselves and others, regardless of community level.
  3. Stay home if you’re sick. If you’re feeling sick, you should stay home and away from others. You should also test for COVID-19. While there isn’t an at-home test for flu or RSV, at-home antigen COVID-19 tests are effective and reliable when used properly. 
  4. Wash your hands. Washing your hands is a simple and important way to prevent the spread of viruses like RSV, flu, and COVID-19. Read more from the CDC about how and when to wash your hands.
  5. Contact your health care provider. Consult your health care provider if you have questions about testing and treatment, especially if you or your child are at high risk for complications from flu, RSV, or COVID-19. There are effective treatments for both COVID-19 and flu, but both need to be started early in the course of illness to be effective. And your health care provider can help you manage symptoms of RSV if you or your child are sick.

Added December 15, 2022