Doctors at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Sunday, September 3, 2023, urged people to get their flu shot now, as they are worried about COVID-19, RSV, and influenza all circulating at once this fall and winter.
RSV is a respiratory virus that can cause mild to severe illness, especially in young children and older adults.
Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It can cause mild to severe illness, and can sometimes lead to death.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It can cause mild to severe illness, and can sometimes lead to death.
Last season, data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment revealed that there were about 3,000 hospitalizations from the flu.
Doctors say that getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. The flu shot can also help to reduce the risk of serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia and hospitalization.
“I’ll say as a mother of a 5-year-old who was admitted a few times with RSV, it was very scary, and so anything that we can do to protect those most vulnerable is really important,” said Dr. Larissa Pisney, Medical Director for Infection Prevention, according to 9 News.com.
The big three — RSV, COVID and flu are predicted by doctors that they will likely be circulating at the same time this season.
“We think we’ll see more influenza because a lot of our immunity comes from folks getting infected each year, and so because we had at least two years where very few people got the flu, we’re worried that not only, one, it will happen sooner, so more likely in November where the typical peak is January or later, but also high numbers. So we’re slowly anticipating we’ll see more influenza admissions than we’ve seen in the last three years,” Pisney said.
“Many of our hospitals are already struggling with capacity, so you add those respiratory admissions to it, I think that could be really challenging for the healthcare system.”
The flu shot is available now at most doctor’s offices, clinics, and pharmacies. It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu shot every year.
Here are some additional details about the flu shot:
The flu shot is made with a weakened or inactive form of the influenza virus.
The flu shot is not 100% effective, but it can help to reduce your chances of getting the flu by about 60%.
The flu shot is safe for most people, but there are some rare side effects, such as mild soreness at the injection site.
If you have any questions about the flu shot, talk to your doctor.
Here are some tips for preventing the flu:
Get a flu shot every year.
Wash your hands often with soap and water.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself from the flu and other respiratory illnesses this fall and winter.
The doctors at UCHealth are concerned that the combination of COVID-19, RSV, and influenza could lead to a surge in respiratory illnesses this fall and winter. They are urging people to get vaccinated against all three viruses to protect themselves and their loved ones.
If you have any questions about the flu shot, please talk to your doctor.