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How to stay healthy during holidays amid COVID, flu

Doctors said the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated.
Doctors said the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated.(WALB)
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 8:18 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As we’re entering the new year, a doctor at Southwell in Adel said they are seeing a spike in COVID-19 and flu cases.

Doctors said the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated. This comes as many of their hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. According to the latest numbers, they have 12 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the hospital, and nine of those are unvaccinated.

Southwell Critical Care Physician Dr. Rubal Patel said they have seen an uptick in testing and positive COVID-19 cases in the last week.

She said the best way to stay healthy is to go back to the basics.

“Things like hand washing, wearing a mask, social distancing and biggest thing, getting the COVID and flu vaccine,” said Patel.

Since both viruses have very similar symptoms, she stressed the importance of testing.

Dr. Rubal Patel is a critical care physician at Southwell.
Dr. Rubal Patel is a critical care physician at Southwell.(WALB)

“Testing is widely available there’s even at-home tests, so getting tested would be ideal. Mild symptoms can be managed at home but severe symptoms, you want to be seen by your primary physician,” said Patel.

Some of those symptoms can be shortness of breath, body and headaches, as well as severe fever.

“We have seen more patients who are severely ill who have not gotten the vaccine. We’re seeing patients in some way regret not getting the vaccine who are really sick,” said Patel.

She said the reason they’re seeing an uptick in cases could be because of various causes but could also be to immunity wearing off.

“Immunity wearing off of those that have a had the vaccine, for instance. It’s difficult to say, but I think we’re seeing it throughout the world, country and here locally,” said Patel.

Patel added that’s why a booster shot is important in extending a person’s immunity.

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