Virus Experts Issue New Guidance as RSV, COVID, and Flu Cases Rise
We're in the middle of a possible "tripledemic," as RSV, the flu and COVID cases are rising sharply in America. "COVID-19 may have lost its daily news headline status, but the disease rages on with 2700 weekly deaths in the U.S. and millions of Americans chronically disabled from long-COVID, 4 million of which are being kept from work. This winter time, a terrible year for RSV as well as a potentially worse flu season could add insult to injury especially when one considers the fact that COVID-19 leaves some people with an impaired immune system similar to what HIV does to cause AIDS," says News Direct. How can you stay safe? Virus experts are issuing new guidance. Read on for that, and to discover the symptoms for each.
Consider Masking Again
A mask can help mitigate your exposure to infectious diseases. Health authorities are encouraging mask wearing in areas where infections are spreading. "Ten days of mask wearing as many return to work, in school, can slow transmission, minimize disruptions to work and learning," said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, for example. "Protect those most vulnerable and help make sure hospitals do not become overwhelmed."
Added Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking to Fox: "It really depends on the local situation. And you really can't make a broad generalization about that. You have to leave it up to the discretion of the local health authorities and you know, LA is a big city. They have very good health authorities. I know that all they have good judgment and we'll leave it up to them when they're there on the ground evaluating the situation. I mean, obviously you would like people to use good judgment to protect themselves and their family in that community without necessarily having to mandate anything because you know, there is a fatigue about being mandated. People don't like to be told what to do. Yeah. But you really want to very strongly encourage people that when you're having a rather strong uptick in infections, which is followed by an uptick in hospitalizations, you want to make sure you do something to mitigate against that. And I think that's what's going on in LA."
Remember COVID Isn't Over. "There's Still a Lot to Do to Protect Yourself"
"I'm very concerned about it," Dr. Fauci said about COVID. "Because even though we're doing much better now than we did a year ago, where we were having hundreds of 1000s, up to 800,000 infections a day and anywhere between 3 and 4,000 deaths per day, we're much lower than that right now. But it isn't over. We're getting into the winter months, the holiday season, people will be congregating indoors. We have an updated booster vaccine that's available that can really go a long way to protecting you, certainly from severe disease, if not from infection. And unfortunately, there's not a very vigorous uptake of that vaccine. We're doing much, much lower from a percentage point that we shouldn't be doing. In some respects, that may be understandable because people want to be done with COVID. We've all been exhausted over the last three years. But there still is a lot to do to protect yourself and your family and ultimately your community. And that's the reason why as we're entering into the winter, we're really putting a full court press on to get people to get that updated bluster vaccine, already gotten it."
Signs of RSV
The signs of RSV include:
Blue(ish) skin due to lack of oxygen
"The signs and symptoms of severe RSV infection in infants may include short, shallow and rapid breathing, a struggle to breathe, coughing, poor feeding behavior, tiredness, and irritability," says Pediatric Infection Specialist Stephanie Stovall, M.D. "Most children and adults usually get better in one-two weeks after onset," Dr. Stovall says. "Severe or life-threatening RSV infection in premature infants or anyone with chronic heart or lung problems may require hospitalization."
Signs of Flu
"At first, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. Colds usually develop slowly. But the flu tends to come on suddenly. And while a cold can be miserable, you usually feel much worse with the flu," says the Mayo Clinic. "Common symptoms of the flu include:
Chills and sweats
Dry, persistent cough
Shortness of breath
Tiredness and weakness
Runny or stuffy nose
Vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in children than adults."
Signs of COVID
A new variant is spreading in America. "Called XBB, it accounted for 3.6% of total cases in the United States during the last week of 2022, the CDC says. Its cousin, XBB.1.5, was responsible for 40.5%. Both are subvariants of Omicron and are especially dominant in the Northeast, where three of four cases are linked to XBB.1.5. The country continues to record about 400 deaths a day," says Web MD.
Symptoms of COVID include, says the CDC:
ossible symptoms include:
Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting