After COVID-19, FLU is the new primary respiratory illness in US

Figures are indicating that in the United States more people are falling seriously ill with the flu than with COVID-19.



According to The Globe and Mail, “Figures collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the weekly rate of hospitalizations for the flu has reached 5.9 per 100,000 people, a level not seen at this time of year in more than a decade.

For COVID-19, however, the rate has fallen to 4.3 per 100,000, far below the January high of 34.8. The figures for both the flu and COVID-19 are for the week ending Dec. 3, the most recent data available.

The dwindling severity of COVID-19 comes after President Joe Biden said in September that “the pandemic is over.”

Numbers of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have been on the rise in recent weeks, with nearly 5,000 daily hospital admissions. But for COVID-19 to qualify as a pandemic virus, “the threshold would be that it is still causing hospitals to be completely disrupted,” said Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “And I don’t think COVID-19 has been doing that for some time.”

We have “ceased seeing hospitals being under siege by the virus,” he added.”


The case of COVID-19 now

They also said, “The decreasing severity of COVID-19 is a result of broad exposure to the virus and effective ways to treat it. A large percentage of the world’s population has now either been infected by COVID-19 or immunized against it.

In November, the World Health Organization reported a 90-per-cent drop in COVID-19 deaths, compared to nine months before. More than 70 per cent of the world’s population has now been vaccinated in some form.

New variants emerging today “are much easier to handle because of the immunity in the population,” Dr. Adalja said.”

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Days of wearing masks are coming back

Though people thought that days of wearing masks are gone, the days of wearing masks are coming back with Flu and RSV contamination.

According to NBC News, “Entering the holiday season last year, surging Covid-19 cases overwhelmed hospitals. This year, hospitals have been overwhelmed by a combination of Covid, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the flu. Along with RSV, the record number of flu cases pushing pediatric hospitals near to capacity is a worrisome signal that the current flu season will be the worst in years. Facing a particularly acute crisis, pediatric hospitals have called upon President Joe Biden to declare an emergency to provide more resources to respond to the current surges.

This “tripledemic” of flu, Covid and RSV is a reminder that even as the pandemic ends, the threat of seasonal respiratory viruses remains. Thankfully, our toolkit for tackling them is similar to what works to suppress Covid alone, starting with the most basic and flexible level of protection: masking. When and where respiratory viruses are surging, mask mandates should be reinstated.”



They also said, “In a typical year, RSV causes up to 80,000 hospitalizations and 300 deaths among children under 5, and up to 10,000 deaths and 120,000 hospitalizations among adults age 65 and older. As with flu and now Covid, individual adverse outcomes are rare relative to the number of cases, but more spread and more infections means more people experience serious outcomes. Even with the pandemic receding, an average of 300 people are still dying from Covid every day. Unvaccinated people face six times the risk of death according to recent data, but many people dying now are vaccinated as well.”

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Symptoms of Flu. Covid and RSV in kids

In post Covid-19 time it is very important for parents to know the exact symptoms of different diseases like normal flu, Covid-19 or RSV.

When the children come home with a runny nose, if the parents know the symptoms, it will be easy for them to take steps.


RSV symptoms in kids

RSV is very contagious and a common illness in children, with most having had an RSV infection by their second birthday, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The symptoms include a runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing, per the CDC.

Most RSV infections go away within a week or two, but the CDC recommends parents call their healthcare provider if their child “is having difficulty breathing, not drinking enough fluids, or experiencing worsening symptoms.”

The symptoms of RSV usually come on gradually and they show up within 4 to 6 days after becoming infected.


Flu symptoms in kids

Symptoms of the flu typically come on suddenly, which is perhaps its biggest distinction from RSV, per Health Partners.

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, feeling tired and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea, per the CDC.

Flu symptoms typically develop about 1 to 4 days after being exposed to a sick person.

“Even healthy children can get very sick from flu,” the CDC warns.

The CDC says that parents should take their children to the emergency room if they are experiencing fast or trouble breathing, bluish lips or face, ribs pulling in with each breath and chest pain, among other symptoms.


COVID-19 symptoms in kids

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 in children include fever and cough, but children can also experience sore throat, headache, fatigue or gastrointestinal symptoms, per the CDC.

Be smart: One of the best ways to protect your family is to stay up-to-date on your flu and COVID shots.

The CDC also recommends parents get their child tested if they develop symptoms, as that is the best way to know whether it is the flu or COVID-19.

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