ADPH: Protect against viruses

Aug. 29—With the start of school, colds and viruses get around. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is recommending people get immunized for COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), to reduce the risk of becoming ill and spreading viruses to others.

For now, officials urge preventative measures including hand washing and staying home when sick. COVID-19 testing and immunization clinics are still offered at county health departments statewide. Vaccine information can be found at

For this season, only one COVID-19 booster is expected. If you have COVID-19, treatments can reduce your risk of hospitalization and death.

People who are more likely to get very sick include:

* Adults 50 years and older. Risk increases with age.

* People who are not vaccinated.

* People with certain medical conditions. These include chronic lung disease, heart disease or weakened immune systems.

Other recommendations from ADPH include:

* Contacting a healthcare provider right away to see if you should be treated, even if your symptoms are mild.

* Start treatment within days after you first get symptoms

* Medications must be prescribed by a healthcare provider.

* Only take products that are approved to treat or prevent COVID-19.