Jan 11, 2024 - News

COVID cases climbing up again in San Francisco

Illustration of a pattern of gray virus cells with one lighting up in red

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Odds are you know somebody who's recently felt under the weather, thanks to a post-holiday spike in respiratory viruses sweeping across the country.

Driving the news: San Francisco's 7-day average COVID positivity rate exceeded 12% at the start of the year for the first time since last January.

The big picture: 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.

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.
  • Every household in the U.S. can also order eight free at-home COVID tests from the federal government.

Of note: The increase in COVID infections has not corresponded with a similar surge in cases requiring serious medical attention, the CDC notes.

Yes, but: Though vaccination lowers the risk of developing long COVID symptoms, it doesn't eliminate it — and the COVID treatment Paxlovid does not reduce the risk of long COVID symptoms either, a recent study by UCSF researchers found.

What's next: As more data rolls in, we'll see whether virus cases are continuing to surge into the new year.


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