WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) – Ascension Via Christi officials say health care workers are extremely busy taking care of people sick with respiratory illnesses like flu, RSV, and Covid and it’s expecting a spike in numbers after the holidays.

As doctors rush from room to room coughing can be heard in the emergency room at Ascension Via Christi St. Theresa’s in northwest Wichita.

“I would say that I’ve seen significantly more people in the last three days than I have in the last week,” says Dr. Greg Zandrow.

Respiratory viruses spread when people are in close contact with each other which is why the holidays are a big time for people to get sick. The hospital says it is expecting an increase in people with flu, RSV, and Covid after the holidays because it’s when a lot of people get together.

“The holidays are always a tricky time. Everyone’s getting together and with that comes sharing lots of things. Your presents, physical presence, and the presence of your pathogens,” explains Dr. Zandrow.

He says the best thing you can do to keep you and your family safe this season is to take action before you can get sick.

“There’s an expression that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Prevention is key. Trying to stay as healthy as possible is always the goal,” he said.

This includes things like washing your hands, social distancing, and making sure you’re up to date on vaccines. And while it may not be what you want, if you’re feeling sick it’s probably best to stay home.

“It’s always tough to take yourself out of the mix. Generally speaking if you’re feeling sick and you got sick from somebody you can give that sickness to someone else,” he said.

Balance is also key when celebrating. You should make sure to get plenty of rest, drink water, and eat some fruits, vegetables, and protein in addition to the delicious Christmas sweets.