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Don't let the 'tripledemic' spoil your holiday travel plans – CBS News

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By Stephon Dingle
December 19, 2022 / 2:52 PM / CBS Baltimore
BALTIMORE – Flights are booked and road trips are planned for many this holiday season.
Holiday travel can already be a headache, but then you add COVID, RSV and the flu, and that adds a whole new dimension.
“Fever some chills, early scratchy throat which can then progress into a really sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose and of course coughing,” said Dr. Gregory Schrank, Infectious Disease Expert at the University of Maryland Medical System.
All of those symptoms have become all too common and exhausting, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began almost three years ago.
Add in an influx of cases of the flu and RSV, and holiday plans are a little trickier this year.
Yeah we actually all got COVID during Thanksgiving,” traveler Marina Hernandez said. “I think we’re all good at this point now.”
However, getting sick is no laughing matter especially as we approach Christmas and the New Year.
Contagious respiratory illnesses are surging across the country, and overwhelming emergency rooms.
“Well, we stick to the masks and sometimes isolation,” traveler Emmanuel Jackson said. “We go by the guidelines and keep it tightknit.”
“So yes, for Christmas, me and my siblings, we get together have brunch then we will have dinner and then we’ll exchange gifts,” traveler Kevonna Mason said.
Hopefully, that gift isn’t in the form of a cough, runny nose or fever that will spoil the holiday get-together.
Dr. Schrank said that even when everyone gathers to break bread, there are things you can do to mitigate the risks.
“Using an air filter, a portable HEPA filter in the home, if you have one available, would be great if you position it near the dinner table or in the kitchen,” Dr. Schrank said.
Before you arrive at your loved ones’ home, experts say to avoid being in large crowds and packed spaces two to three days before gathering.
But if you travel by plane, train, and automobile, the bigger question is, are you doing what’s needed to protect yourself and your family?
“Oh absolutely, we’re all vaccinated, we stay masked up,” Jackson said. “My mom, before telling me before coming out here, was like, ‘Hey bring a mask with you.’ So we try to be safe and look out for each other.”
“Let’s wash our hands, proper hand hygiene and enjoy the families because it’s been rough these last couple of years,” Mason said. “So we all need to be around that love and physical touch is important.”
Health experts also say don’t be afraid to ask family members about their symptoms before you gather and perhaps require them to take a COVID coming over to help avoid spoiling the party.
First published on December 19, 2022 / 2:52 PM
© 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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