EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — There is a trifecta of viruses going around as we head into the peak of flu season and there are fears it could get worse.
It’s not only influenza that’s on the rise but so is the highly contagious respiratory illness, RSV.
RSV usually peaks in January but it has been sickening children and adults throughout our area and across the country for about a month, leaving some hospitals full.
“Janet Weiss Children’s Hospital is at full capacity, same with Geisinger Wyoming Valley Pediatric beds they’re working with other children’s facilities to make sure kids are close to home and getting what they need whether it’s B-Level care or Emergency Department care,” said Dr. Stacey Cummings, M.D. Vice Chair of Outpatient Pediatric Services at Geisinger.
With flu, various COVID variants, and RSV all circulating at once, the best defense against the trifecta of viruses is to limit germs from circulating.
“Anyone who has a cold stay away from them, especially young children, wear a mask that may mean parents who have a cold to minimize the spread to their children,” Dr. Cummings explained.
That’s why doctors stress washing your hands often and avoid touching your face.
Some viruses collect on services you don’t have to be someone who coughs or sneezes, you touch it, you can get the virus as well.
In addition to good hygiene and mask wearing, a pediatrician from PAK Pediatrics also recommends staying up to date with vaccines.
“Flu isn’t less severe because COVID is around so you should get both the flu and COVID shot. You can get them at the same time but you can also separate them if you want,” said Dr. Alvarro Reymunde, M.D. pediatrician at PAK pediatrics.
While there are vaccines for the flu and COVID-19, there isn’t one yet for RSV. With the holidays approaching, maintaining optimal health is key to gathering with friends and family safely.
Experts say that can be achieved by getting enough sleep, reducing stress, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising regularly.