What to Use for Nasal Congestion

The FDA announced that a commonly used nasal decongestant, phenylephrine, doesn’t really work when taken orally. What should you use if you have nasal congestion related to a #cold, #flu or #COVID? Houston Methodist Hospital recommends using an oral pseudoephedrine medication (stored behind the counter) unless you have a heart condition, a nasal decongestant spray (phenylephrine is effective in this format), an oral antihistamine such as Zyrtec, a nasal steroid spray or a saline rinse. And if you feel #sick with common #symptoms such as nasal congestion, headache, body aches and fever, always stay home to recuperate and avoid infecting others.

Use Common-Sense Measures Against Respiratory Viruses

One of the top healthy habits to observe during #COVID, #cold and #flu season is to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching hard surfaces or other people, before eating, and after using the restroom. Other common-sense measures suggested by the Health Partnership Clinic  include covering your face with an N95 mask when unable to maintain a safe, 6-foot physical distance from others, especially indoors; avoiding touching your mouth, nose and eyes; #cleaning hard surfaces in the home frequently, including counters and door handles; and keeping your immune system healthy by exercising regularly and getting enough rest.

Be Prepared for Colds, Flu and RSV

There’s a third virus in the mix this season that’s of particular concern to children and older adults: respiratory syncytial virus, or #RSV. The common respiratory virus usually causes mild #cold-like symptoms, but young children and older adults can develop more serious cases that require hospitalization. Fortunately, the Food & Drug Administration has approved antibody immunizations that can be administered to even high-risk and healthy infants. “They can lessen the symptoms and keep you and your loved ones out of the hospital,” says CDC director Dr. Mandy Cohen. “This is the new ‘flatten the curve’ moment. Get #vaccinated.”

Fall Is the Season for Respiratory Viruses

As the weather cools and people start to conduct more of their activity indoors, respiratory viruses flourish. This year, #COVID-19, #flu and #RSV are expected to circulate simultaneously, the Centers for Disease Control says, and the number of hospitalizations is expected to exceed 2019 (pre-COVID) levels. Getting #vaccinated against respiratory viruses can lessen their impact or prevent catching them entirely, CDC says. Check with your doctor to see which #vaccines are recommended for yourself and your family members’ based on age, preexisting conditions and other circumstances.

Disinfect While You Clean

With COVID-19, flu and RSV viruses running rampant this #winter, the goal for #cleaning is to combat germs, says Care.com — meaning what you really want to do is #sanitize and #disinfect to prevent the spread of disease. Address the high-touch areas of your home such as door handles, faucets, window sills, phones, toothbrushes and remote controls. Clean these items two or three times per week with disinfectant, paying special attention to bathroom sinks and toilets. “And don’t forget the light switches, towel racks, and any other handles or knobs,” says cleaning expert Bailey Carson. #WinterCleaning