Thanksgiving is a happy time filled with friends, family, and great food. Unfortunately, it’s also a time filled with seasonal illnesses! 2020 poses an even more unique threat with COVID-19 still on the rise and no vaccine available to the public yet. Seasonal illnesses are never pleasant, but luckily, there’s plenty you can do to avoid them this thanksgiving.
Food poisoning isn’t usually thought of as a seasonal illness, but the number of cases definitely increases around the holidays. This is because multiple people are eating the same food so if there’s something wrong with that food, multiple people will be affected at once. Turkey is a delicious holiday tradition, but if it isn’t cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it can carry dangerous salmonella. Check the temperature of your turkey using a food thermometer. Be sure to research other food safety protocols food storing both hot and cold food while you wait to serve it too!
Thanksgiving falls right in the middle of cold and flu season which is also accompanied by COVID-19 this year. The best way to prevent these illnesses from interrupting your celebration is to encourage all of your guests to focus on their personal hygiene. Frequent hand washing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and avoiding touching your face are a great place to start! With COVID-19, wearing a mask and practicing social distancing is essential to personal hygiene too.
Getting Your Flu Shot
While there is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, there is a highly effective vaccine that protects against the flu! Getting the flu shot lowers your risk of contracting the flu by over 80%. If you do get the flu after getting vaccinated, your symptoms will last a shorter period of time and be less severe. Anyone over 6 months of age is eligible to get a flu shot and the sooner you get it, the better!
If someone begins experiencing symptoms of illness during your thanksgiving celebration, bring them to a nearby urgent care center for quick care and treatment to manage their symptoms. An urgent care can also offer flu shots and COVID-19 testing if you or a loved one is in need of either! Stay updated on local and state health recommendations this holiday season to ensure you’re being as safe as possible during COVID-19. A traditional family meal is nice, but a virtual one that keeps everyone safe may be even better!