Unfortunately we’ve become accustomed to increases in COVID and flu cases over the winter months, and now Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) has entered the scope of health risks. RSV is a respiratory virus that is on the rise in children, mostly infants and also older adults.
The Town of Burlington’s Director of Public Health Susan Lumenello reiterates the guidelines and precautions that have been set by the CDC during your holiday travel and gatherings.
Nationally the CDC is seeing elevated levels of respiratory viruses including RSV, flu and COVID-19 and, in addition, for RSV and flu, these levels are higher than generally seen at this time of year. People should take the following steps to prevent contracting respiratory viruses:
- Wash hands frequently.
- If you are sick, stay home until symptoms are resolved. Take a Covid-19 test and, if you test positive, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home, even if you are feeling better. If your symptoms have resolved after 5 days, you should continue wearing a mask in public for another 5 days.
- Get a flu vaccination. Call the Burlington Board of Health at 781-270-1955 to schedule a vaccine.
- Stay up to date on Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters.
- If you are at increased risk of severe illness from respiratory viruses (age 65 and older, infants, have a weakened immune system, have certain underlying medical conditions, are pregnant, and are not up to date on flu or COVID-19 vaccinations) consider additional precautions such as wearing a mask, especially in crowded or poorly ventilated places, and limiting attendance at large indoor gatherings.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health advises that individuals should wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated. For more information about masks, visit mass.gov/MaskUp.
Happy and healthy holidays.