What are the most common winter illnesses?

According to Physicians Immediate Care’s Chief Medical Office, Dr. Warren Wollin, “The most prevalent illnesses currently this fall/winter are Influenza, COVID-19, RSV, Rhinovirus/enterovirus, and Parainfluenza. These viruses are all commonly spread through the air by breathing them in when other nearby people that are infected cough into the air. Young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those individuals with chronic medical conditions can get very sick from these viruses. The best way to reduce your risk of becoming infected is to get your annual flu vaccine, a COVID-19 booster shot, and wear a mask in public areas.”

Dr. Wollin also suggests you keep your immune system fully charged by eating home-cooked meals instead of fast food and processed food, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep each nigh,t which can help prevent you from getting very sick from these viruses. If you do start to experience mild symptoms such as cough or congestion, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and wear a mask if you are around other people. If your symptoms worsen, see your primary care physician, or go to your nearest urgent care for evaluation, testing, and possible treatment. For influenza, most people can take Tamiflu if their symptoms started within a few days. For COVID, there are medications as well, like Paxlovid, which work better the sooner you are diagnosed.