Title: Americans Urged to Brace for ‘Thanksgiving Triple Threat’ of Covid, Flu, and RSV as Cases Surge Nationwide
As Americans prepare to gather with loved ones for Thanksgiving, health experts are warning of a concerning surge in Covid-19, influenza (flu), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases across the nation. Dr. Bill Messer, a molecular biologist in Oregon, has described the situation as a ‘Thanksgiving triple threat,’ emphasizing the importance of taking necessary precautions.
The holiday season poses an increased risk for virus transmission due to large indoor gatherings and close proximity. Dr. Messer stressed the significance of wearing face masks in crowded places, practicing proper hand hygiene, refraining from touching one’s face, and getting vaccinated against all three viruses.
Recent data indicates that flu cases are on the rise, particularly in the southern and southwestern regions of the United States. A map displaying flu levels by state highlights these areas as hotspots for the virus. Additionally, Covid-19 cases are showing signs of resurgence, as suggested by wastewater surveillance. The level of the virus detected in wastewater has been steadily increasing.
Unfortunately, the RSV virus, which primarily affects young children and the elderly, is also experiencing a surge. A graph depicting RSV cases across the country shows an upward trend. Dr. Messer emphasized the importance of practicing good respiratory hygiene, such as sneezing into the crook of one’s arm, to prevent the spread of pathogens.
To compound the situation, Dr. Matthew Sims, an infectious diseases expert in Chicago, also underscored the triple threat and advised individuals to take necessary precautions to avoid exposure to multiple viruses.
Recent CDC data revealed a rise in Covid-19 cases in eight states, while wastewater surveillance suggests that infections are increasing nationwide. However, it is noteworthy that Covid hospital admissions, although higher than the previous week, remained below last year’s numbers, with around 16,000 recorded in the week leading up to November 11.
Furthermore, flu cases have been increasing across the United States, with higher hospitalizations and deaths, particularly in Louisiana. Researchers speculate that the flu season may be starting earlier than usual, possibly due to the lingering effects of Covid-19 lockdowns and increased travel.
RSV cases are also seeing a rise, with a positivity rate of 14 percent last week, compared to under 10 percent the previous month.
While vaccines are available for all three viruses, their uptake has been lower than expected. Approximately 65 percent of adults and 70 percent of children have not yet received their flu shots. Moreover, only 20 percent of US adults have taken the updated Covid-19 vaccine, and a mere 14 percent of Americans over the age of 60 have received the RSV vaccine.
As the holiday season approaches, health experts strongly urge Americans to take these threats seriously and follow recommended guidelines to protect themselves and their loved ones. By adhering to preventive measures and getting vaccinated, individuals can help reduce the potential impact of the ‘Thanksgiving triple threat.’