Sep 5, 2023 - News

What to know about COVID, the flu and RSV this fall

Illustration of a pattern of covid particles and positive signs turning into each other.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

This fall, infectious diseases pose a triple threat.

What's happening: A potent flu virus, resurgent COVID-19 and rebounding RSV are combining to prompt new warnings in Colorado about the coming seasons when all three will be circulating.

  • Based on case rates in Australia, UCHealth experts are predicting higher-than-average rates here for all three viruses.
  • And flu season is arriving early.

What they're saying: "This is why we're encouraging everyone, and especially kids, parents and grandparents, to get their vaccinations early," Michelle Barron, the senior medical director of infection prevention and control at UCHealth, said in a statement.

Of note: UCHealth reported admitting two patients to the hospital for flu in the past week and counted additional cases at outpatient clinics.

What to know: Vaccines for all three are now available or coming soon.

1) Flu: Vaccine available. The virus is expected to circulate widely in October and peak in November, at least a month earlier than normal.

  • The CDC recommends everyone older than six months get vaccinated and reports that those immunized were 40-70% less likely to be hospitalized or experience complications.

2) RSV: Vaccine available. The FDA recently approved new vaccines targeted at older adults and others who are immunocompromised, as well as those 8-19 months old.

3) COVID: Vaccine coming soon. Federal officials anticipate updated COVID-19 vaccines will become available to all Americans in mid-September.

  • The new doses target the XBB.1.5 Omicron variant, the dominant summer strain, but experts say they will still protect "against the most serious outcomes" of the newer variants.

Be smart: Stay home if you're sick. And wash your hands.

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