(WYTV) – In a few days, many families and friends will gather around the dinner table and share a meal to celebrate Thanksgiving.
“With a lot of these viruses you’re contagious before you even have symptoms,” said Benjamin Brocker, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
Before diving into the food, it’s important to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, remember to cough and sneeze into your elbow and keep your distance if you’re not feeling great.
“Essentially the people that you have to kind of worry about getting infected. Anybody with lung disease. We’re looking at asthma, COPD and then we’re looking at very young children. They’re saying, usually under the age of six months, and then children who have congenital heart disease, down syndrome, or any like I said, anybody who has any kind of lung disease, too,” said Dr. Brocker.
Dr. Brocker says the main thing he’s seen people worried about right now is RSV and its effect on their lungs. He told me it could lead to pneumonia, shortness of breath or apnea which is stopping breathing altogether.
“The RSV isn’t just up here like an upper respiratory infection, lower respiratory infection,” said Dr. Brocker.
Brocker said ultimately you have to do what makes you and your loved ones comfortable.
“It’s kind of weighing the benefits versus the risks. If you have a very young child who’s premature under the age of like 35 weeks when they were born, and you don’t feel comfortable taking them around a lot of people, because, usually, Thanksgiving has a lot of people for a gathering, then don’t,” said Dr. Brocker.
Dr. Brocker stressed the importance of knowing the symptoms of RSV; fast breathing, struggling to breathe, coughing up something, high fever and apnea.
If you’re having trouble breathing then get to the Emergency Room as soon as you can.