Experts Warn of Incoming Triple Threat of Respiratory Illnesses

Luke Marquardt
Published Apr 4, 2024



While fall is still in the distance, many areas of the nation experienced significantly cooler temperatures this week. This cooling should serve as a warning that cold and flu season is also just around the corner. Government and health officials are already warning about what could be a triple threat of COVID-19, the seasonal flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Here is what you need to know to protect yourself heading into the fall and winter months.

 

CDC Working to Promote Vaccine Awareness as Mercury Drops


The focus of government and health officials in the coming weeks will be to promote the vaccines for all three of these illnesses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is leading the campaign of vaccine awareness. The CDC is also working to provide timely information to Americans about the threat of all three illnesses in their communities going forward.

Many of the biggest pharmacy chains across the country have already begun to push vaccine appointments for both the flu and RSV. In addition, a new COVID-19 booster shot is expected to be available by the end of September. The RSV vaccine is a new addition to the recommended course of shots for the elderly, defined as those over the age of 60.

 

New COVID-19 Variant Raising Concern


The rollout of vaccines is coming just as the CDC warns that a new COVID-19 variant is spreading throughout the U.S. The CDC posted on Wednesday that its early surveillance of a wastewater site has detected the highly mutated strain of the coronavirus, confirming the presence of the BA.2.86 variant. These wastewater site testings have become one of the most reliable indicators of COVID-19 spread.

Nine different sequences of the emerging strain have been identified in separate locations all over the globe in the last several days. The two U.S. sequences were found in patients from Michigan and Virginia. The female patient from Virginia had recently traveled to Japan. Her case was identified as part of the CDC's specially designed travel surveillance program.

 

When You Should Seek Vaccines


The CDC advises that everyone age 6 months and older get their flu vaccination prior to Halloween, launching a campaign known as "flu before boo." The updated COVID-19 booster is awaiting official approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It will then need to be approved by the CDC before it hits pharmacy shelves around the country. The hope is that these boosters will be available well before Halloween.

Doctors also say that it is safe to get the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time, helping to streamline the appointments. You will find these three vaccines at pharmacies and various medical clinics. Some communities may also organize mass vaccination events to facilitate the process.

Major pharmacies that have already rolled out vaccine appointments for the flu and RSV shots include Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens. All three pharmacies have also said that they will offer the latest COVID-19 shots as soon as they become available.

 

What Will the Season Hold?


It is always difficult to predict how severe a flu season will end up impacting a community. Adding in the latest surges of COVID-19 and RSV make these predictions even more challenging. Health officials are already busy monitoring how much respiratory illness is circulating around the U.S.

The spread of the flu in the Southern Hemisphere is another indicator that experts will rely on when determining how severe of a season the U.S can expect to see. This data is typically highly predictive as this part of the planet experiences winter first. Following this data is also helpful when determining how effective the flu vaccine is for the particular strain circulating the most.



Experts warn that COVID-19 is still a significant health threat despite the decline in fatality rates. According to the CDC, about 244,00 Americans died last year from the virus. The wide availability of vaccines over the last two years has been credited with keeping more people out of the hospital while saving millions of lives. As such, medical experts will continue to support the widespread use of this vaccine and its associated booster shots.

Related Articles

Drinking Chlorophyll Water: Apparently It's The Next Big Thing...

Health fads are nothing new, in fact they probably go back all the way to the dawn of humanity. However, with the rise of the internet, people have been able to share lots of information and testimonials with ...

10 Benefits of Cultivating Self-Care Practices

Self-care is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically. While everyone's needs are different, there are many benefits to cultivating self-care practices. It's advisable to star...

Wellness Tips for People Who Work From Home...

Working from home can be great because you can avoid the commute, create your schedule, and enjoy a more relaxed work environment. But it's important to take care of your health and well-being while you're doing it. T...

5 Healthy Ways to Deal With Uncertainty Caused By COVID-19...

For most Americans, the months that have passed since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) have not been easy. The WHO proclaimed COVID-19 to be a pandemic on March 13. In the se...

Planning for Your Future During the Stressful COVID-19 Pandemic...

Planning for Your Future During the Stressful COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment, school closings, health concerns, and the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic leaves you without access to basic goods and serv...

Struggling to Remember to Take Medication Each Day? Follow These Proven Tips...

Despite the best of intentions, many people forget to take their medication as prescribed. When life gets busy, it is easy to let these tasks slip your mind. Unfortunately, forgetting to take im...