Flu, RSV and COVID cases have become the latest respiratory illness to cause problems just one week into the month of December.
Nearly every state in the country is reporting “high” or “very high” levels of flu-like activity, including Washington. So far this season, 13 flu-related deaths have been reported in Washington state.
Hospitalization rates nationwide are the highest they’ve been at this point in the season in more than 10 years, statistics show.
Decreased physical socialization, masking, not having large social events, those things decreased our exposure to the flu and also people had less flu vaccinations last year.
Doctors said the current influenza vaccines have shown to be very effective against the current strain sweeping across the country.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone 6 years of age and older should get a flu shot, with rare exceptions.
It’s especially important for those at higher risk for serious illness. That includes adults over the age of 65, children younger than 2 years old, those who are pregnant or just finished a pregnancy, and those with conditions like asthma, blood disorders, chronic lung disease and heart disease.
It is safe to get the flu shot and an updated COVID-19 booster at the same time, Walker said. The sooner people roll up their sleeves, the sooner we can reduce the risk of spreading both conditions, she added.