As respiratory viruses continue to spread, the “triple disease” is causing infections to surge across the country, putting a strain on the country’s health workers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning Americans that high levels of multiple respiratory diseases could persist for a while.
“We expect high respiratory virus activity to continue for a few more weeks, possibly even months,” a CDC spokesman warned, according to Fox 5 DC
In a telebriefing earlier this month, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the number of flu-like illnesses was higher than is common for this time of year, although she noted there were signs that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) had peaked in some areas.
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“While this is encouraging, respiratory viruses continue to spread at high levels across the country,” she said. “And even in areas where RSV may be declining, our hospital systems continue to be burdened by high numbers of patients with other respiratory diseases.”
Walensky encouraged people to take preventive measures, wear a mask and get flu and COVID-19 vaccines.
Many of the circulating viruses have similar symptoms, and the CDC emphasized the importance of testing to determine treatment.
According to the CDC, RSV usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, with older adults and infants and young children at higher risk. But fever is also on the list.
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The agency said the flu can cause mild to severe illness and sometimes death. The symptoms of the flu are fever and a stuffy nose. The flu season started earlier this year.
COVID-19 has similar symptoms, including fever and a sore throat or cough, in older adults and people with underlying medical conditions who are at higher risk for serious illness.
“You can’t tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19 by symptoms alone because some of the symptoms are the same,” the CDC says on its website.
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This sickly viral cocktail has healthcare workers in a frenzy. State hospitals across the country have reported an increase in patient numbers and some officials have issued emergency orders.