Virus ‘triple threat’ affecting people of all ages

‘It’s makes you just want to fix it, but you can’t’
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 8:04 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Odds are you have either had or know someone with the flu, COVID-19 or even Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). It is not going anywhere soon, according to medical experts.

The mother of a baby with RSV is glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel for her son.

“I think he’s finally getting better. So that’s encouraging,” said Hanna Joines. Her baby was born prematurely and was on oxygen for 3 month, making a diagnoses like RSV scary.

“We had started having a cough on Friday... so we decided to go get him checked out since it wasn’t getting better. And yeah, he tested positive for RSV,” Joines said. She said it’s hard to see her baby like this.

“It’s sad. It...I don’t know. It makes you just want to fix it, but you can’t,” she said. But Hanna is not alone. Right now virtually everyone is susceptible to one of what experts are calling a “triple threat”: COVID-19, RSV, or the flu.

“Over the past few years, we’ve been wearing masks, so people haven’t had these respiratory infections over the past couple of years, other than COVID,” said Mary Duncan, Senior Director of Infection Protection at UAB. She said now we are catching up.

“This year, a lot of the infants and kids that are getting RSV, they haven’t been exposed to it. So we’re seeing a large spike in that RSV population this year. And flu is showing up a little bit early,” Duncan said.

Parents like Hanna can expect long wait times at the doctor because of the rise in cases, but the best case scenario—is stopping the sickness before it starts.

“If you’re sick stay home so that you can’t spread it to other people. We can prevent that by doing our respiratory etiquette: coughing into our elbow, sneezing into a tissue, wearing a mask when we’re out and we’re around people that are sick, washing our hands. Just staying healthy, stay hydrated, make sure you’re getting enough sleep that you’re eating good,” Duncan said. She says the most important tip is to get vaccinated, and with the holidays coming up—now is the perfect time.

“Respiratory season goes through usually march or it can even go up through April. So we’re, we’re going to be in this for the long haul,” Duncan said.

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