East Wenatchee, WA – As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, Chelan-Douglas Health District (CDHD) encourages all families to help each other stay safe during this year’s holiday gatherings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the U.S. is currently experiencing a resurgence in the circulation of non COVID-19 respiratory viruses, including influenza (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
In Chelan-Douglas counties, 132 RSV cases attended emergency care, primary care, urgent care, and/or medical specialty facilities in 2022, as reported to the Rapid Health Information Network (RHINO) program with the Washington State Department of Health. With various respiratory illnesses circulating and transmission levels increasing, here are the most common respiratory illnesses to look out for this winter:
Influenza (flu) – Most contagious while symptoms are present, particularly a fever. The flu is most severe for children, adults 65+ and pregnant women who have not received the annual flu vaccine. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, body aches, cough, runny nose/congestion, sore throat and upset stomach.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) – Most contagious while symptoms are present, and 8 days after symptoms start. RSV is most severe for infants and children with weakened immune systems and adults 65+. Symptoms include fever, runny nose/congestion, cough, fatigue, decreased appetite and progression to lung infection that includes difficulty breathing and wheezing.
COVID-19 – Affects all ages and is worse among people unvaccinated, adults 50+ and anyone with underlying health conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose/congestion, sore throat, fatigue, difficulty breathing, headache, body aches and diarrhea.
Common Cold – Most contagious while symptoms are present and has the greatest impact on people who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions. Symptoms include sore throat, cough, runny nose/congestion, sneezing and a mild fever.
CDHD recommends the following preventative measures to help minimize the risk of respiratory illnesses:
• It is not too late to get a flu vaccine and it is recommended for everyone 6 months and older (contact your primary care provider or visit www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines for a flu vaccine near you)
• Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters (visit www.cdhd.wa.gov for eligibility and upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinics at Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee)
• Avoid large gatherings if you are sick
• Wear a mask in crowded public places
• Wash your hands often and disinfect common areas and surfaces
• Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
• Avoid close contact, such as kissing, shaking hands and sharing cups or utensils with others
• Seek medical attention if you are experiencing severe symptoms
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