(WHTM) — The upcoming busy holiday season means family gatherings, parties, and packed traveling spaces. Don’t forget, the bigger the crowd, the more likely you are to get sick.

“So we are worried about a trifecta, RSV, influenza, and COVID, making a lot of people sick at the same time,” said Dr. John N. Goldman, an infectious disease specialist at UPMC Pinnacle.

This “triple-punch” of illnesses is particularly affecting young people, immunocompromised people, and the elderly.

“The levels of flu activity are much higher than they typically are at this point in the year and I suspect we are in for a severe flu season,” said Dr. Goldman.

Dr. Goldman said the best ways to protect your family are, “Good hand washing, staying away from sick people, and not going to school or work if you or your child are sick.”

Dr. Goldman also stressed the importance of vaccinations and boosters.

“The point of the vaccines is to prevent disease, but the most important part of vaccines is to prevent severe disease and hospitalizations,” added Dr. Goldman.

A few more tips to stay healthy: get a good night’s rest, stay hydrated, and wash clothes in hot water to kill germs.