Doctors Concerned About Respiratory Viruses During Holiday Season

Doctors Concerned About Respiratory Viruses During Holiday Season

Between COVID-19, the flu and RSV, doctors are worried about the triple threat of infections we’re facing this holiday season.

Public health experts are urging people to get COVID boosters and flu shots

COVID infections and hospitalizations have been increasing, especially since Thanksgiving. And COVID wastewater data has been rising to the highest levels we’ve seen since October. Meanwhile, RSV is overwhelming children’s hospitals to the point where they’ve had to cancel surgeries. And the CDC has declared quote “very high” levels of flu activity in Massachusetts.

The rise in respiratory viruses comes as omicron subvariants BQ1 and BQ1.1 take over as the dominant strains. But experts say there are plenty of precautions you can take to avoid getting sick at holiday parties, including vaccines, masks, proper ventilation and testing.

“I mean, certainly it could continue to rise and at the same time, we have flu and RSV and every other virus focus on those three, but all of them are rampant, and it doesn’t change how I think about my holiday plans, but it definitely changes how I advise people who are at higher risk for bad outcomes from respiratory viruses.” said Dr. Shira Doron of Tufts Medical Center.

The White House is making four rapid virus tests available per household through covidtests.gov.

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