With the recent Thanksgiving holiday having passed, a time when more people come into contact with one another due to travel and gatherings, the CDC and other public health organizations in the U.S. are reporting rising activity in COVID-19 and flu. Given the increases and with other holidays ahead, they have been reminding the public about the importance of vaccinations and other precautions.
At a CDC briefing yesterday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said officials have started to see post-Thanksgiving rises in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Her remarks came at a time of rising flu activity, which is causing decade-high hospitalization rates. Dr. Walensky urged people to get vaccinated against flu and to receive the updated COVID-19 boosters as one tactic for reducing transmission over the holidays. This week also marks the CDC's traditional National Influenza Vaccination Week, an effort to boost uptake ahead of the flu season peak. CDC officials have raised concerns about lower flu vaccine uptake compared to last season in some risk groups. In terms of another respiratory virus, RSV, Dr. Walensky said that activity may have peaked in the South and Southeast and may have leveled off in the Middle Atlantic and Midwest regions. Still, she urged people to take three steps. In addition to getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19, they include everyday precautions, such as improving indoor ventilation and wearing a high-quality, well-fitted mask, especially in areas where community transmission is high. Dr. Walensky also encouraged people who have flu or COVID-19 to seek early antiviral treatment, especially those who are at risk for complications. Read more at the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy