Do This to Live to 100... Or, At Least, Through Cold and Flu Season

Photo: AFP

As colder temperatures start to settle over the Tri-state area, that means we are entering the time of year when people more easily catch various respiratory illnesses, like the common cold, the flu and Covid. Dr. Gregory Poland heads the vaccine research group at the Poland Clinic; he appeared on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning Show to remind listeners to watch out for a severe respiratory condition most people casually dismiss- RSV.

“The problem with RSV, which is respiratory syncytial virus, is it mimics Covid and flu,” Dr. Poland cautioned Berman and Riedel. “Right now in the US, hospitalization rates from RSV are about ten times higher than they normally are. So a not [infrequent] scenario is, somebody gets flu or they get Covid, they kind of recover from it, then they develop another respiratory illness, and more often than not it’s RSV. RSV can settle into the lungs and cause a nasty pneumonia, so it’s worth checking out.”

Dr. Poland also addressed America’s overall reluctance to get the most recent Covid booster. “There’s a pretty high level of population immunity such that, if people get infected and they’re otherwise healthy, they’re tending to have, you know, a flu-like illness, and they’re not too worried about it, it’s not terribly severe. What they don’t understand is, by not getting our boosters, we continue to encourage the development of ever-new variants, and of course the risk of long Covid. The CDC estimates that there are about 18 million Americans suffering from long Covid currently.”

But not all of Dr. Poland’s news was grim. He gave listeners the synopsis of a book that documents tips to live a longer life. “Worldwide, there’s about 600,000 people that are 100 or over… “The Blue Zones” is an organization that looked at all of the areas in the world where people lived the longest… it’s the things we kind of know about. It’s moving regularly, waking up with purpose, decreasing stress levels, a plant-based diet, or at least a plant slant… [and] social interactions turn out to be huge; belonging to a faith-based organization, they estimate, adds about 14 years to your life.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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