Cold, flu, and RSV season is official here and this year, and cases are on the rise as holiday travel increases and mask use decreases. 

“As we are going into the holiday season, several schools in the state have closed down because of these viral illnesses,” said Dr. Carl Seger, Vice President of Clinical Operations for Wild Labs.  “We know that people are going to be around their families. Some of these family members could be at risk if they develop any of these illnesses.” Dr. Seger recommends before going to visit family and friends this holiday season, especially with young children or older adults, to get tested if you are feeling any respiratory symptoms.Family: Little boy lying on sofa and drugs at foreground

Annual flu vaccines are available for those six months and older.  

Dr. Seger added that “after being with family and friends this holiday season, before going back to school or work, we recommend getting tested if you have any symptoms. If we all work together, we can help decrease the spread of these three viral illnesses”.

Be Prepared

  • Stock up on supplies. Load up on tissues, hand soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels. Have extra masks on hand, as they’re proven to protect against the spread of viruses. Consider picking up a few distractions in case your kids get sick, like puzzles, coloring books, or DVDs.
  • Check your medicine cabinet. Make sure it contains pain relievers, fever reducers, and any other medications you use when your family is fighting colds or the flu, like decongestants or cough syrups.
  • Be strict about washing hands. Germy hands spread colds and the flu. Tell your family to scrub their hands well with soap for 20 seconds. Tell kids to wash for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Make sure you do it, too!
  • Disinfect. You don’t need to spend all day spraying every surface with disinfectant. You may just want to disinfect some heavily touched items — like doorknobs, remote controls, and phones — each day.
  • Switch to paper goods. If everyone’s sick, use paper towels instead of hand towels in the bathroom. Switch out glasses for paper cups and toss them after one use. You’ll be less likely to swap germs.
  • Fill the fridge and pantry. Stock up on some easy-to-make foods for lunches and dinners, in case you need a few days to rest and recover without cooking. Have some favorite drinks and snacks on hand for your kids. Include some (healthy) comfort foods like chicken soup and PB&J.
  • Rest. Whether you’re trying to recover from a cold or flu, or trying to avoid it, get plenty of sleep. Get your kids to bed on time, too.
  • Get your flu and COVID shots. One of the best ways to help keep the flu away from your home is to make sure your whole family gets vaccinated.

Holiday Guide: group of people dressed in christmas outfits running a race

RUN, RUN Rudolph! 

Dress in your favorite holiday outfit and come run, jog, or walk at the annual Reindeer Ramble 5K on Saturday Dec 10 at Keeneland. Santa and his reindeer will be there, too!  

The race will begin at 10 a.m. You can register as an individual or as a group. Each participant will receive a long-sleeve commemorative performance shirt with registration. Awards will also be given out for top individual and team finishers and best costumes.



Saint Joseph Hospital and Saint Joseph East have received national recognition for several service lines, ranking among America’s 100 Best Hospitals in a number of areas and receiving top honors in others. The two facilities have received Five-Star ratings, according to new research released by Healthgrades, the leading marketplace connecting doctors and patients.

 Saint Joseph East was named a Five-Star Recipient for its cardiac, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and critical care services. For the first time, the facility has also been named one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Coronary InterventionTM in 2023 by Healthgrades. The facility is also among the top 10% in the Nation for Cardiology Services and Coronary Interventional Procedures.

 “This recognition by Healthgrades is a testament to the dedication to quality care at Saint Joseph East,” said Kathy Love, president, Saint Joseph East. “Our providers and staff work every day with a goal of excellence in mind. We are pleased that their work is recognized once again by Healthgrades.”

Baptist Health Lexington and Baptist Health Richmond have earned the top rating of “A” for hospital safety for fall 2022 from The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization.

 The national distinction recognizes achievements in protecting patients from harm and error in the hospital. The two hospitals are part of the East Region of Baptist Health’s statewide family of hospitals.

 “This recognition is a reflection of our continuing commitment to quality care,” said Chris Roty, president of Baptist Health Lexington. “The safety of our patients is the highest priority for our physicians and staff.” This is the 10th grade “A” in a row for the hospital.

  “This is now our fifth consecutive “A” and I could not be more proud of our team at Baptist Health Richmond,” said Greg D. Gerard, president of Baptist Health Richmond.

This article appears on pages 12-13 of the December 2022 issue of Hamburg Journal. To subscribe, click here.