Flu is rising, and COVID levels are higher than last season's peak. But COVID hospitalizations and deaths are down. Nonetheless, COVID is still the most dangerous virus circulating.
As the respiratory viral season picks up, local infectious disease expert Dr. Christopher Ohl gave an update Friday on three major viruses health care providers are seeing.
Due to an increase in RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, the Cone Health system announced new masking requirements and visitor restrictions at some of its locations Tuesday.
National data shows COVID-19 levels are moderate. In most of the U.S., levels of other respiratory viruses are low, although RSV is ticking up in some southeastern states.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first vaccine for expectant mothers to shield their babies from RSV.
At least 58,000 childern younger than 5 years old are hospitalized each year with RSV infections. A Pfizer vaccine given to pregnant people could help protect their infants from severe RSV illness.
The main reason the surge is ebbing now, pandemic experts suspect, is the significant immunity many people in the U.S. have acquired from prior infections and COVID vaccinations many received.
The illness sends tens of thousands of babies to the hospital each year. If approved, the new injection would be the first broadly available prevention tool.
RSV and the flu appear to be receding in the U.S., but COVID is on the rise, new data suggests, driven by holiday gatherings and an even more transmissible omicron subvariant that has become dominant.