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.

The Importance of Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19

The spread of the more contagious #Delta variant of the coronavirus has many areas reeling from a dramatic rise in #COVID-19 cases, illnesses and hospitalizations. And getting #vaccinated can help slow the spread and avert more tragedies.

While no available #vaccine is 100% effective against the virus, CNBC says, all of them drastically reduce the chance of contracting a symptomatic infection and almost eliminate the chance of mortal illness completely.

Don’t think that because the first wave of the coronavirus affected the elderly worst that you’re in no danger. Delta is more transmissible, so younger people are getting infected, too — and new cases are concentrated among the unvaccinated.

One great reason to get vaccinated is to protect elderly, sick and immune-compromised friends and relatives. Even if they are vaccinated, they are safest when the people around them are at least somewhat immune to the virus and able to inhibit its spread.

Think of the #veterans in your community: Many have chronic health conditions such as diabetes that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. When you get a #vaccine, you are honoring the sacrifices they have made on behalf of the county.

The vaccines — contrary to the misinformation campaigns out there — are safe for use. More than 4.48 billion doses have now been administered worldwide and 352 million doses in the U.S., according to Bloomberg. Serious side effects are exceedingly rare.

Many people experience a headache, fever, chills and fatigue in the first 48 hours after their first or second dose. That’s your body learning to fight off the virus. But that’s it — and what a small price to pay for months of protection against a deadly disease.

While vaccines are available free of charge, getting sick from COVID-19 can be very expensive. A coronavirus hospitalization will cost a person with no insurance coverage about $73,000, FAIR Health estimates, or max out an insured person’s deductible.

Perhaps most importantly, vaccines are the best hope for everything — school, work, social gatherings, concerts, event and even grocery shopping — getting back to normal. Don’t you long for the carefree, maskless days of 2019?