Tamar Braxton has a warning amid this year’s brutal “tripledemic” of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), COVID-19, and the flu: “Please be careful.”
Last week, the R&B singer and TV personality took to Instagram to recount a cautionary tale involving a personal health scare. Right before Christmas, Braxton said she was out shopping with her friends and felt totally normal, but the next day, she had to be “taken to the hospital by ambulance.”
“[I] needed oxygen ’cause I thought God was taking me home because I could not breathe, and my chest was on fire!” the 45-year-old wrote to her 5.5 million followers. “I was taken to @northsidehosp and was met by the best nurses and doctors including @therealdrjackie to find out what’s wrong… y’all, I have the flu 🤦🏽♀️.”
A post shared by Tamar Estine (@tamarbraxton)
Braxton was sent home with “five different medications” to ease her recovery process. Although she’s on the mend, the Braxton Family Values star warned that her case of the flu was “worse than COVID-19, in my opinion”: “Please be careful… I wasn’t around a lot people and have no idea where it came from… enjoy y’all holiday at home… [you] don’t want this.”
Indeed, the 2022–2023 flu season has already proven to be especially severe. Throughout the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tracked at least 18 million illnesses, 190,000 hospitalizations, and 12,000 deaths from the flu. This is unfolding alongside a particularly nasty outbreak of RSV, a common but potentially dangerous respiratory virus, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Many hospitals are overburdened with patients, and pharmacies nationwide have reported shortages of key antibiotic and antiviral medications. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky even warned of an “especially worrisome” winter to come.
Take it from Braxton: The flu is no joke. If you haven’t gotten your annual flu shot yet, it’s not too late. The vaccine is safe, effective, and recommended by the CDC for everyone ages 6 months and older.
You can also keep yourself safe by practicing good personal hygiene, including regularly washing your hands, disinfecting high-use surfaces, and covering your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing. The flu spreads via contact with a sick person’s respiratory droplets, so wearing an effective face mask can’t hurt, either.
And if you feel sick, take another cue from Braxton and stay home! “I’m completely isolated ’cause [the flu] is hella contagious,” she wrote. Rest is a crucial part of recovering from any viral illness. Plus, self-isolating helps keep your family, friends, and community safe.
Before you go, read up on these effective ways to alleviate your child’s cold and flu symptoms:
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