Health Officials Warn That Viruses Are Coming for Your Holiday Season

Thanksgiving spurred on more respiratory infections in an already busy virus season. The coming holidays could be worse, public-health officials say.

The flu continues to surge at the highest level seen in years and Covid-19 infection levels have recently increased around the U.S. heading into the winter holidays, wastewater and federal hospitalization data show.

The rising viruses increase the risks for vulnerable groups including older Americans following an unusually early season for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which most often impacts small children and has filled beds in pediatric hospitals. RSV infection levels are showing signs of cooling off but remain elevated, as flu and Covid-19 infections spread.

“If you managed to avoid it at Thanksgiving, you may not at Christmas,” said Dr. Catherine Troisi, an infectious diseases epidemiologist with UTHealth Houston School of Public Health.

The cumulative flu hospitalization rate in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s surveillance network is the highest it has been for this time of year in more than a decade, according to the CDC. Low vaccination rates and fewer recent exposures compared with prior seasons have likely left a larger pool of susceptible people this year, doctors said.

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Source: Wall Street Journal