Respiratory Infections Still High but Falling Across the US
COVID-19, Flu and RSV cases have trended downward across the United States over the last two weeks. After early surges of RSV and Flu overwhelmed healthcare facilities the Fall, public health experts anticipated that a new COVID-19 wave could once again strain hospitals in the new year. New data suggests that worst of winter season may be over. Because RSV and influenza hospitalizations peaked in late December, emergency care providers are now busy, but not overburdened. COVID-19 cases have fallen after a post-holiday uptick in cases. The seven-day national average of hospital patients with COVID-19 has declined to 39,000, from a January 10 peak of 47,000. These encouraging signs mean we may have avoided the worst outcomes of the respiratory illness season. Infectious disease experts also caution that these viruses are not always predictable, as flu and RSV sometimes peak twice. Physicians continue to recommend getting the flu vaccine and updated COVID-19 booster, as they offer crucial protection against severe disease and hospitalization.