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The #1 Cause of a COVID Infection, Say Experts

Avoid these places to stay healthy, doctor warns

One of the most powerful things we can do to help end the pandemic is to understand how the virus is spread and what causes people to catch COVID. There are many precautions we can take like wearing a mask, social distancing and staying home when feeling sick and Dr. Abe Malkin, Concierge MD Los Angeles, who has been treating COVID since the beginning, tells Eat This, Not That! Health a few things we can do to avoid getting the virus and what the causes of the infection are. Read on for 5 essential life-saving tips—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


How Does An Infected Person Spread COVID?

Man sneezing into his elbow.

Dr. Malkin explains, "When a person that is already infected with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or even talks, droplets or tiny particles called aerosols carry the virus into the air from their nose or mouth. This is why we recommend wearing masks and standing at least six feet apart to reduce the risk of breathing the virus into your lungs."


Mingling Closely with People Outside of Your Household

Group of friends having fun and holding sparklers at New Year's party

As the holidays fast approach, many people will want to attend large gatherings and interact with people outside of your household, but Dr. Malkin says that's one way people can potentially contract the virus. "Attending events with multiple members outside of your living situation–one of the risks, especially as we gather for the holidays, New Year and in larger groups is contact with those outside of your living circle."

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Being Physically Close to Someone Who Has COVID

Waiter coughing into elbow while serving customers in a restaurant.

One sure way to get COVID is being in close contact with someone who is infected, Dr. Malkin explains." You can contract COVID-19 if you are in close proximity with an infected person. It's best to socialize in groups where you know everyone is fully vaccinated-which should include the latest booster shot. If you are in small groups with those who are not vaccinated there is a higher risk but a current negative PCR test within 48 hours is also reliable."

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Large Indoor Public Spaces

Music festival crowd excitement

With winter weather here, most people are meeting family and friends inside public places, but that's another way to come down with COVID, Dr. Malkin says. "Avoid large indoor public spaces. In large groups like concerts, movie theaters, malls, airports or grocery stores,  it's best to minimize how often you visit these places and still wear a mask indoors even if you are vaccinated as a precaution." 

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How Can People Protect Themselves From Getting COVID?

Doctor's gloved hands using cotton before vaccine.

"While there is no way to be 100 percent protected, there are things you can do to minimize your risk," Dr. Malkin states. "Get vaccinated and get the available booster shots for our age group. Where a mask is when indoor or around groups of people whose vaccination or testing status is unknown.  Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your nose or mouth. Most importantly, be proactive and keep your immune system strong through sleep, outdoor exercise, and nutrition. Vitamin and hydration IVs are also a great option to boost your system if you are feeling run down. If you do become infected but have mild symptoms or are early in the diagnosis, we recommend IVs that provide monoclonal antibodies."

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How to Stay Safe Out There

Brunette woman wearing a KN95 FPP2 mask.

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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