As respiratory viral season picks up, local infectious disease expert Dr. Christopher Ohl gave an update Friday on what health care providers are seeing.
The three major viruses circulating include the virus known as RSV, influenza or the flu, and COVID-19.

"COVID's going up fairly quickly, and flu's going up fairly quickly, but RSV fortunately is a bit on the decline," he says. 

Tests are available for both the flu and COVID. Ohl says if a COVID test is negative and someone has a fever, you can assume it’s influenza. If it’s negative and someone doesn’t have a fever, it’s a good idea to test again the next day to make sure it’s not COVID.
Isolation for COVID is five days and the recommendation is to wear a mask for five days after. For the flu, you can return to school or work after 24 hours without fever and without fever-reducing medicines.
Ohl stressed the availability of vaccines for all three viruses as well as treatments for COVID and the flu.
According to Ohl, the respiratory viral season begins at the end of December, strengthens in January and is usually over by the beginning of March.   

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