SAN DIEGO — Federal and local health officials are warning about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu and COVID-19.
On Thursday, health leaders met to discuss what is being done to mitigate the illness and what the community can do to help.
Doctors are calling on everyone to keep up with COVID-19 safety protocols.
“Let’s be smart, don’t pay attention to that misinformation, that disinformation,” said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becarra.
Federal and local health leaders are sounding the alarm on what they call the “triple viral threat”: RSV, flu and COVID-19.
The biggest impact, medical professionals said, is RSV in children.
Doctors said RSV is not a new virus, but said during the COVID-19 lockdown, children did not get exposed to common viruses and therefore could not build up their immunity.
“The difference this year … we are seeing it much earlier and we are seeing it at a much higher rate. And we are also seeing at a time when coming through COVID, and seeing an increase in the flu,” said CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital, Dr. Patrick Frias.
At Rady Children’s Hospital, Dr. Frias said they have seen a 250% increase in RSV cases this year. Frias said RSV can be mild, common cold-like symptoms in some cases, while other cases can be more serious. Frias said such as trouble breathing, especially for people with underlying health conditions.
“It’s also important to talk to your primary care provider, to make sure you receive care the best place, the right place, at the right time,” Frias said.
“It is always cause for concern when we see these situations,” added Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County Public Health Officer.
With the holidays and the winter season around the corner, kids will be in and out of schools. Doctors want to make sure everyone is prepared.
“It’s always helpful to have conversations with your kids, to explain why you are asking them to do the things that you are asking them to do, and again vaccinations, washing your hands, staying away from individuals that are sick,” Wooten said.
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