Additional viruses on the rise as we enter fall
The turn of the season brings with it the potential for Flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, on top of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
For those who may not be familiar, RSV is a seasonal virus that typically peaks in the fall and declines in the spring.
It usually causes mild cold like symptoms for adults, but can cause pneumonia and bronchiolitis in children.
In the Twin Cities, a number of children have unfortunately been hospitalized for it already.
Dr. Abinash Virk, a top Infectious Disease Expert at Mayo Clinic, said the number one things people can do to prevent illness this fall is get both their COVID-19 vaccine and their flu shot.
“We have to do everything that we can to control this,” Virk said. “For us to go back to pre-pandemic days, it is going to take effort from every individual in the country."
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for RSV at this time. So, Virk said people should practice healthy habits like handwashing and wearing a mask when indoors.
“Next year, hopefully we can be in a better place than we are this year and the more people that can do everything that they can to prevent the transmission, even to one additional person will help control the pandemic,” Virk said.
In the Northland, Essentia Health began offering Flu shots on Wednesday.
Both Essentia Health and St. Luke’s also offer COVID-19 vaccines.