SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In just a few days, people across KELOLAND will gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving. The precautions of the height of the pandemic are gone, but concerns remain, along with a threat from other illnesses.

While Covid isn’t as widespread as it once was, it is still a threat. And on top of Covid, we have RSV and an active flu season arriving for the holidays. Like many people, Sanford’s Chief physician, Dr. Jeremy Cauwels, will gather with his family. He will be meeting his 5-month-old nephew for the first time.

“Lives down in Texas and so while we are down there the other thing obviously we are going to be worried about is RSV which is really prominent right now in the pediatric population and so doing everything you can to keep your hands clean make sure you are healthy when you go down to make those visits. and doing those things that you used to always do are very important,” said Cauwels.

For instance, if someone suspects symptoms, they should wear a mask, social distance themselves, limit their time at the gathering or simply don’t go.

Cauwels says a few days after Thanksgiving gatherings we can expect more people to get sick.

The good news is, there is something you can do to minimize your illness.

“We have a pill for Covid, and we have a pill for influenza. And those are the two major illnesses out there for adults. Covid is still killing 300 to 350 people a day, influenza is on its way up, and the Sioux Falls metro area is on its way up faster than anywhere else in the state,” said Cauwels.

The pill for Covid is Paxlovid and the pill for influenza is Tamiflu. Cauwels says people who get sick after Thanksgiving need to get tested to see which treatment they can take.

“If you get sick over Thanksgiving make sure you get checked out by your doctor, make sure you talk to them and get the appropriate testing because both of the anti-viral medications, either for influenza or for Covid are only good if you get them in the first 5 days, so it is important to call your doctor early,” said Cauwels.

While it’s impossible to eliminate the risk of catching something at a gathering, the pandemic has taught us how to make smarter decisions, not only to protect ourselves but our friends and families as well.