Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Tips for Fighting Winter Germs

Wearing a mask is one way to avoid spreading germs to others. Wearing a mask is one way to avoid spreading germs to others.

Our focus this week is on you can stay healthy during the cold winter months when sickness tends to run rampant. 

Like it or not, when winter hits, for many, sickness also tends to set in. 

“One of the reasons why people may get sick during the winter months is that we’re indoors more often, and so we’re in close quarters with others and so there are more opportunities for germs to spread from one person to another,” said Andrea Alvarez who oversees infection control at Sentara Martha Jefferson.

Alvarez recommends getting the flu shot as an important part of prevention. If you do get sick, however, there are several things you should do to try not to spread your germs.

“You should stay home when you’re sick. That’s really one main message,” noted Alvarez. “If you have a fever, you should stay home 24 hours after the fever has gone away without the use of a fever reducing medication.”

Additionally, wash your hands – often! And, if you are waiting to be seen by the doctor, keep your distance from others in the waiting room, or wear a mask.

Finally, if you have respiratory issues, there are important steps to remember when you cough or sneeze.

“Proper respiratory etiquette involves covering your cough, and that can be with a tissue, or with your elbow.  Coughing or sneezing into your sleeve is one way to keep the germs at bay and not spread them to others,” noted Alvarez. 

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA. If you have a question about your health, email healthquestions@nbc29.com

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday

Do you have health questions? Get the answers every Monday morning from the experts in our feature: Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

To submit your questions, email them to healthquestions@nbc29.com. Then, tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital