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Sick elderly man checking his temperature suffering from seasonal flu or cold and using tablet for entertainment or online doctor consultation. Ill senior feel unhealthy with influenza at home

CDC Respiratory Disease Update and How to Protect Yourself

The CDC released its respiratory disease season update earlier this month. It provides updates on COVID-19, influenza, and RSV activity across the country compared to this time last year. The CDC notes that respiratory disease activity is nearing peak levels from last year. This past December, hospitalization rates were over 16 admissions per one thousand people.

COVID-19

The CDC tracks and estimates new hospital admissions each week. These figures tell the CDC that COVID-19 activity will continue to increase through the month of January. There were 36,000 COVID-19 admissions during the first week of January. That is less than the year before but has risen from 15,000 over the past two months.

Influenza and RSV

The CDC tracks influenza similarly to COVID-19. The flu leads to more emergency department visits than any other respiratory illness in the country. For RSV, hospitalization rates are lower than last year’s peak. The CDC has seen activity increase around the country, despite decreases in southern states.

Protect Yourself and Others

The CDC suggests the following measures to protect yourself and others during cold and flu season. These include vaccinations, testing and treatment, and practicing good hygiene.

  • Stay up to date with your vaccines
    • Influenza – A current and approved vaccine for anyone six months or older
    • COVID-19 – A current and approved vaccine for anyone six months or older
    • RSV – Vaccine given during pregnancy or to adults 60 years and older after consulting with a healthcare provider
  • Explore Testing and Possible Treatment Options
    • Your healthcare provider is a great resource for addressing respiratory illnesses
    • At-home testing is still a convenient option for COVID-19
  • Airflow and Ventilation
    • Fresh air, air filters, and portable air cleaners are all excellent options for maintaining clean airflow in your living space
  • Good Hygiene Habits
    • Wash your hands regularly with warm water
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes
    • Clean and wipe down surfaces in your living space to kill germs and bacteria
  • Stay Home When You are Sick
    • Avoiding others, especially those with underlying health conditions, can go a long way in limiting a virus from spreading
  • Wear a Mask
    • If you have to go out when you’re sick, a mask will limit the germs you breathe in and protect others near you from getting sick

Resources

To learn more about which vaccines are right for you, visit vaccines.gov.

Want to learn more about the CDC Respiratory Disease Season Outlook? Read the full January update below.

Check out the link below to view respiratory illness activity near you.

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