Kevin Lutz, MD, FACP
Jan 1 2024

Welcome to 2024! You can be sure more than just gifts have been exchanged during the holidays….


While getting together with friends and family was a treat, it was also a very effective way to transmit germs. Most germs are viruses and most of them cause respiratory infections like head colds, and bronchitis, and pneumonia. Others cause digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to reduce the chances we get sick or spread these infections to others. Sure, you’ve heard this all before. The advice is worth repeating and I’ll offer a few highlights. 

  • If you haven’t already, get vaccinated for the flu, Covid, and RSV viruses.
  • Use alcohol-base hand sanitizer frequently throughout the day. Washing your hands before you eat is even more effective. After you order at a restaurant and hand back that filthy menu is a great time to go wash your hands.
  • Limit your visits with people who have reduced immunity. This includes people in hospitals and nursing homes, the elderly, people undergoing chemotherapy, those with babies under 6 months of age, immunocompromised folks, etc. This is true even if you feel fine. Remember, we are often contagious before we develop symptoms.
  • Likewise, do not go to work if you are sick. No one is a team player when they bring germs to the workplace.
  • Remember wearing masks? They are still a great idea.
  • My personal favorite: avoid shaking hands (at least from October through March). That friendly gesture of manners is almost as polite as not spreading germs.

As a rule of thumb, you remain contagious until the fevers have resolved and symptoms are clearing up. Click here for more information

The world is what we make of it. Let's start with tolerance, friendship, unconditional love, and plenty of laughter.