Flu is on the rise, while RSV infections may peak

NEW YORK (AP) — The flu is gaining momentum while RSV lung infections that can hit children and the elderly hard may be peaking, U.S. health officials said Friday.


What you need to know

  • As for flu season, seven states reported high levels of flu-like illness in early November
  • Over the past month, RSV infections have surged in some parts of the country, nearly filling hospital emergency rooms in Georgia, Texas and some other states
  • In Ohio, health officials have reported 145 cases since August, with most children recovering at home

However, COVID-19 continues to cause the most hospitalizations and deaths among respiratory diseases — about 15,000 hospitalizations and about 1,000 deaths per week, said Dr. Mandy Cohen, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency is also investigating reports of pneumonia outbreaks in children in two states, but Cohen said “there is no evidence” they are due to anything unusual.

As for flu season, seven states reported high levels of flu-like illness in early November. In a new CDC report on Friday, the agency said the total reached 11 states — mostly in the South and Southwest.

Over the past month, RSV infections have surged in some parts of the country, nearly filling hospital emergency rooms in Georgia, Texas and some other states. But “we believe we are near the peak of RSV season or will be within the next week,” Cohen said.

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a common cause of mild cold symptoms but can be dangerous for infants and the elderly.

Cohen was asked about cases of pneumonia in children reported in Massachusetts and in Warren County, Ohio, near Cincinnati. There are a number of possible causes of the lung infection and it could be a complication of COVID-19, influenza or RSV.

In Ohio, health officials have reported 145 cases since August, with most children recovering at home. The illnesses were caused by a variety of common viruses and bacteria, officials said.

China recently had one increase in respiratory diseases which health officials there attributed to the flu and other common causes.

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