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Don't bring germs to Thanksgiving dinner: Tips to staying healthy over the holidays

We're still dealing with the trifecta of respiratory viruses, and you don't want to share them with the ones you love.

CLEVELAND — Chances are you or someone you know has been battling one of the nasty viruses floating around. It seems everyone is getting sick. 

While it appears RSV may have plateaued, getting together with family and spreading germs may cause cases to jump again. And with RSV, what might seem like the common cold to an adult could mean a trip to the ICU for a baby, elderly person, or someone who is immunocompromised.

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Dr. Claudia Hoyen, Director of Pediatric Infection Control at UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, says even though Thanksgiving is a few days away, it's not too late to get your flu shot and COVID booster.

"If they get it today or tomorrow, they'll start developing antibodies, and so they may not get as sick as they would have," Hoyen told 3News. "It's not going to be complete immunity, but it would be better to get it today or tomorrow than to not get it at all."

By now, you know the importance of handwashing, using hand sanitizer, and not touching your face to spread germs. But if you're coughing or sneezing up a storm, consider who you're putting at risk. 

"The most immunocompromised, the very elderly, and the very young who sometimes are unable to receive the vaccines to protect themselves," Dr. Neha Vyas of Cleveland Clinic said.

If you do think you're fighting something and still insist on going to Thanksgiving dinner, consider wearing a mask and keeping some distance from at-risk relatives. If you're the host, Vyas says request guests bring a mask or provide them. 

Test yourself for COVID the day of Thanksgiving. If you're sick or have a fever, this is the year you really should consider staying home and keeping your germs to yourself. 

This is an unprecedented year for viruses. RSV and Influenza started two months earlier than expected, and we're still not sure what the new COVID variants may do. According to the CDC, about 300 people are still dying daily COVID-19, and more than 3,400 are hospitalized weekly. 

Influenza cases are about to hit three million, and so far 1,300 hundred people have died, including a 13-year-old boy from Cuyahoga County.

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