Health officials are monitoring the triple threat of respiratory diseases. Here’s how to avoid getting sick

Respiratory viruses are on the rise in the US


The new year begins with an increase in respiratory viral infections and hospitalizations

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As the new year begins, health officials are issuing nationwide warnings about a triple threat: a simultaneous increase in cases of the flu, COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports A A significant increase in emergency room visits due to influenza and COVID-19, while RSV infections remain a serious risk – especially for infants and the elderly.

Dr. Celine Gonder, CBS News medical contributor and KFF public health editor, said the U.S. is seeing an increase in flu and an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“We've had 10,000 people across the United States die from COVID since November, so it hasn't really gone away,” Gonder said.

With symptoms often overlapping, Gonder said it's important to get tested to differentiate the viruses. He also advocated vaccination and the use of masks such as N95s as effective prevention strategies.

“They won't necessarily prevent all infections, but they will prevent you from getting really sick. Especially if you're someone who doesn't want to miss time at work or school,” Gonder said.

Comparing the current situation to previous years, Gonder said this season is better than the last couple since the pandemic began.

Even before a bad flu pandemic season can really devastate a hospital. in terms of the number of patients admitted. And so now you have a completely new virus that we've seen before. So there really isn't much. The throughput will take more patients if people get sick,” Gender said.