Flu, RSV, and COVID-19 ahead of the year-end holidays

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 1:11 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - In the weeks leading up to the year-end holidays, we are still seeing a spike in respiratory illnesses across the nation. Just last week, the commonwealth was experiencing a very high level of flu-like activity and that is likely to continue.

It’s difficult to say if these high cases are attributed to people gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday as it’s been consistently high for weeks. On the other hand, COVID-19 cases have remained steady around the Central Shenandoah Health District.

“We didn’t see a pretty massive spike as we did during the wintertime last year. We’re not seeing that right now, but of course, we’re still monitoring those cases,” Jordi Shelton, with the CSHD, said. “Right now, we’re just still just seeing a pretty steady case rate of COVID-19. It’s not going down. It’s not going up. It’s pretty steady.”

Shelton reminds you to stay home if you’re sick, delay travel or gatherings with others if you’re not feeling well, and get tested for the flu and COVID-19 as soon as you can.

“Also remember if you don’t test positive for COVID-19 or the flu, that doesn’t mean that you’re not still sick. You could have RSV or another viral illness that isn’t necessarily COVID-19 or the flu, so make sure you’re staying home until you get better,” she said.

Leading up to Thanksgiving, Shelton said the CSHD saw many people at community vaccine clinics roll up their sleeves for a COVID booster, and some even got their first doses.

In addition to that, it’s still not too late for you to get your flu vaccine if you have not done so yet.

The CDC suggests anyone six months and older get a flu vaccine, with very few exceptions. For flu, the CDC recommends that people stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. The fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine.

For RSV, the CDC reports symptoms usually appear within four to six days after getting infected. Symptoms of RSV infection usually include: Runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever, and wheezing. In very young infants with RSV, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and breathing difficulties.