Flu season is here — plus COVID and RSV, too
Odds are you know somebody who's recently felt under the weather, with a post-holidays spike in respiratory viruses sweeping across the country.
Why it matters: This year's virus season appears to be returning to patterns typically seen before the pandemic — which means a peak may be a little while away yet.
The latest: About half of states, including Ohio, were reporting "very high" flu activity as of Dec. 30, according to the latest CDC data released Friday.
- Dashboards tracking COVID-19 hospitalizations and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases also show increases in Ohio throughout December.
Zoom in: The percentage of flu tests coming back positive through Ohio clinical laboratories was at its highest so far (about 14%) the week beginning Dec. 17, per CDC data.
Flashback: During last season's peak in late November and early December, the percentage climbed as high as nearly 33%, as many people were particularly vulnerable to illness after the protection of two years of mask mandates.
Be smart: It's not too late to get a flu or COVID vaccine to protect yourself against serious illness and complications.
- Plus: RSV vaccines for adults ages 60 and older, and pregnant people, are available for the first time. The latter passes antibodies to a fetus during the third trimester.
Plus: Every household in the U.S. can order eight free at-home COVID tests from the federal government.
What's next: The CDC's dashboards are updated weekly on Fridays, so in a few days we'll see whether virus cases are continuing to surge into the New Year.
Editor's note: This article has been corrected to remove a reference to RSV immunization for infants being in short supply.
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