Protect Yourself From Respiratory Diseases this Holiday Season
Posted at 9:14 AM
Reports of increased respiratory disease have been described in multiple countries recently. CDC is tracking increased respiratory disease activity in the United States for several respiratory pathogens, including influenza viruses, SARS-CoV-2, and RSV,across multiple indicators such as laboratory test positivity, emergency department visits, wastewater, and hospitalizations. Currently, the highest respiratory disease activity in the United States is occurring across the southern half of the country, with increasing activity in northern states.
In the past 4 weeks, hospitalizations among all age groups increased by 200% for influenza, 51% for COVID-19, and 60% for RSV. As of December 1, 2023, the weekly percentages of pediatric emergency department visits for pneumonia due to multiple etiologies were increasing since September in children, but remains consistent with prior fall and winter respiratory activity. To date, 12 pediatric influenza deaths have been reported during the 2023–2024 season. From September 1 through December 10, 2023, CDC received 30 reports of MIS-C, a rare complication that typically occurs 1 month after SARS-CoV-2 infection, with illness onset among cases occurring from August 6 to November 9, 2023, a relative increase compared with previous months. High RSV activity is also occurring across much of the United States.
Influenza, COVID-19, and RSV can result in severe disease, especially among unvaccinated persons. Infants, older adults, pregnant people, and people with certain underlying medical conditions remain at increased risk of severe COVID-19 and influenza disease. Infants and older adults remain at highest risk of severe RSV disease; it is the leading cause of infant hospitalization in the United States.
Vaccination for influenza, COVID-19, and RSV reduces the risk of severe disease, including pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. Vaccination for COVID-19 can also reduce the risk of MIS-C and post-COVID conditions.
Recommendations for the Public
Talk to your healthcare provider about immunizations recommended for you and your household or family members, including children.
If you develop symptoms of a respiratory illness, talk to your healthcare provider about testing and treatment options.
Be aware of everyday prevention measures including covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands, staying home when sick, wearing a well-fitting mask if you choose to wear a mask, and improving airflow at home or at work.
Use the Vaccines.gov website to find a location to receive COVID-19 and flu vaccines. Uninsured and underinsured adults can receive COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to them through CDC’s Bridge Access Program.
Pregnant people and older adults can use the manufacturer’s website (Pfizervax.com) to find a location offering Pfizer Abrysvo RSV vaccine.
For More Information
To read more from the CDC, click here.