Who doesn’t love winter in Telluride? But along with a return to the slopes comes a wintery mix of viruses that can derail your ski season and holidays if you are not careful.  So here’s a few tips from TMC physician assistant Andrew Brown to help you protect yourself and your loved ones during cold and flu season.

Get a flu shot

Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu related doctor visits each year. It can also lessen the severity of illness if you get sick. More than 20,000 people die from flu related illness each year, and many of those deaths could be prevented with an annual flu shot.

Anyone can get the flu, but the risk is higher for children, people over 65 and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma or cancer. The CDC recommends a flu vaccine for everyone older than 6 months. People over 65 can get a high dose vaccine since they are at higher risk. Flu shots are covered by most health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. The vaccine is free for children without insurance, and TRMC offers a low cost vaccine for our uninsured and underinsured patients.

Ask about the new COVID vaccine

The CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months old get the newest COVID vaccine.  We expect to have this vaccine available at TRMC sometime in November. In the meantime, we recommend that people get their COVID vaccine from the San Miguel County Public Health Department. Anyone can make an appointment on their website at scheduled clinics: https://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/737/Immunizations.

The new COVID vaccine is designed to protect against the latest variant. If you have health insurance, most plans will still cover the vaccine at no cost. If you have any questions about the vaccine, please ask your TRMC provider.

Wash your hands

Handwashing is still a good way to prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses, including COVID. Use warm water and soap, and wash for a good 20-30 seconds. If you don’t have soap and water available, an alcohol based hand sanitizer can substitute.

Cover your cough

If you are sick, stay home! Cover your cough. When in doubt, wear a mask. I highly recommend wearing a mask on airplanes right now. Recently, many people we see in the clinic with positive COVID tests have a recent travel history.

Contact the Medical Center to Schedule Your Flu Shot

Don’t let a cold or flu ruin your holidays. A few simple precautions can help protect you and your family this winter. Please give us a call at (970) 728-3848 to schedule an appointment for your flu shot today!