Navigating Holiday Health Concerns Distinguishing Between Flu, COVID-19, and RSV as Cases Surge


IN ATLANTA — The CDC says there are more lung viruses around now because people are getting ready to spend the holidays with family and friends. In that group are RSV and the high number of flu cases.

There are more respiratory virus illnesses when it’s cooler outside.

So, how do you tell the three apart? All of these respiratory illnesses are very contagious and are caused by different viruses. Symptoms like fever, cough, and shortness of breath may be present.

Health officials say that if you have the flu, you’re more likely to have a fever. With RSV, you might be coughing. With COVID-19, you’re more likely to have trouble breathing, tiredness, a sore throat, and even loss of smell.

HOW TO COVIDDr. Jayne Morgan says that the number of 19 cases is slowly going up in Georgia. She says that this is partly because of Thanksgiving celebrations.

“If you start to feel sick and you test negative, remember we have a confluence of three viruses circulating, so you’re negative just for that one,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that you don’t have the flu, which can be contagious, and you can spread it in the family gathering.”

It’s best to talk to your doctor, Dr. Morgan said, and if you test positive for one of the three viruses, she can help.

You should probably stay away from this if you are sick at the time you are watching it, since Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are coming up soon. “The only exception would be if your event is outside and you can wear a mask outside, then you might be able to come stay away from people,” she said.

He said that COVID-19 is still to blame for most of the deaths and injuries in Georgia. As people get together for the holidays in late December, she thinks that there will be another COVID-19 spike and advises them to get vaccination.

The new and improved COVID vaccine protects against all the current types, including the JN.1 form, which is becoming more popular right now, she said. “This is only a single mutation and yet it seems to be overtaking its sisters and brothers and cousins.”

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