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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health alert about the fall season increase in cases of influenza and RSV infection, primarily affecting young children.
Three respiratory viruses namely, COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV are currently circulating in the U.S., and experts worry that holiday travel and gatherings could fuel their spread and further increase the number of cases.
The CDC recommends vaccinations against influenza and COVID-19 for all eligible people 6 months or older, to help protect against severe disease and hospitalization,
There is good news on the vaccine front for fighting RSV, too, even though it is not available at this point.
“A number of vaccine manufacturers have developed vaccines, including a couple of them through phase three trials,” says Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group.
“Very likely, certainly before this time next year, I think we’ll have a licensed RSV vaccine for adults, and then they’ll move clinical trials down to kids. So we’re definitely making progress there.”
In addition to available vaccines, the toolkit for stopping the spread of viruses is familiar now after two years of battling COVID-19. The most basic protection measure, masking, is still effective, but many have grown tired of using it.
“Most people now are not wearing a mask, they’re embarrassed to wear a mask, they’re fatigued of it,” explains Dr. Poland.
“Over these holiday wintertime periods, it’s very likely we’ll have a surge of influenza and COVID-19 related to this kind of behavior. Don’t let fatigue and letting your guard down be the reason that you get infected and suffer a complication.”
(Article attributed: Mayo Clinic)
Holiday Travel, Gatherings Likely to Increase the Spread of Respiratory Viruses – BusinessToday
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