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Local doctor answers questions about staying healthy through the next few months

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Sergeant Bluff, Iowa (KTIV) -- Cold and flu season is here. However, this year is more complicated and worrisome because of the COVID-19 pandemic so people have questions about how to stay healthy.

Question: A local resident, who got the flu shot, says it swelled up and is sore. Is that a normal reaction? What are some reactions to be aware of and when should people see a doctor?

Dr. Jason Losee, UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine - Sergeant Bluff: People are concerned about that quite often. A little bit of redness, a little bit of swelling in that area is very common and it's normal, but it shouldn't be a whole lot. You shouldn't have any fevers or chills, there shouldn't be a large area of redness, and that shouldn't get bigger and bigger as time goes by. Any concerns like that, a significant amount of pain, certainly fevers or chills should be evaluated by a provider.

Question: Dr. Anthony Fauci, a federal infectious disease expert, says the winter months will be quite challenging with COVID-19. What can families do to help protect their households from the virus and avoid COVID-19 fatigue?

Dr. Losee: Even your households, where we all feel more relaxed, I think it's important to make sure we're doing everything we can, washing our hands, because we're all going out in our jobs and schools, bringing things back in, so washing our hands, good cleanliness is super important. And then when we are out in the community, at our jobs, keeping those standards going throughout that time. Most students at schools are wearing their masks. Make sure you encourage your students to do so. Maintain social distancing so we're not bringing things back.

Question: If people are going to a Halloween party or trying to get together with family during the holidays, what should they do to keep all of their guests safe?

Dr. Losee: Whenever possible, maintain six feet. Wear a mask when you're out, especially when you can't stay further apart than six feet, and then again, that hand hygiene, washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, just to make sure we decrease that spread everywhere.

Stella Daskalakis

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