Health Officials are urging community residents to take precautions this season after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an increase in COVID-19 cases and earlier-than-expected flu activity and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases across the state and country.
The “Tridemic,” as some have labeled it, is fueling increases in rates of reported respiratory illnesses nationwide.
Anyone can contract any of these respiratory illnesses, but those most at risk of developing severe complications from influenza, COVID-19 and RSV tend to be young children and infants, and adults aged 65 and older, as well as individuals with compromised immune systems.
Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Candy Stockton said, “Because there is currently no vaccine for RSV, and because getting RSV and flu or COVID at the same time is especially dangerous for young children, it’s really important that we all do our part to help protect our kids by making sure we are up to date on both our flu and COVID vaccines this year.”
Respiratory illnesses like flu, COVID-19 and RSV can be prevented with good respiratory hygiene, including regular hand washing, avoiding close contact with individuals experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces. Masking is also an effective countermeasure, with N95 or KN95 respirators providing the highest degree of protection. As with COVID-19, babies and toddlers under 2 years old should not wear a mask.
Following these tips as well as getting a seasonal flu vaccine and keeping up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters are important measures in keeping yourself and those around you safe.
To schedule a flu shot, contact your local pharmacy or primary care provider. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine or bivalent booster, visit MyTurn.ca.gov.
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