Three respiratory viruses are threatening Arkansans this holiday season, experts including ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson tell television station KNWA/Fox 24.
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is spreading in the state, as are the flu and COVID-19. KNWA/Fox 24 reports that Mercy Northwest Arkansas is seeing an increase in patients with respiratory viruses.
RSV and the flu can be dangerous for younger children, according to Thompson.
“(For) little kids that have small airways, it can be a problem, and I would encourage you to try to keep your family, yourselves, and your loved ones among healthy individuals,” he tells reporter Alex Angle.
The Arkansas Department of Health has reported that flu cases are rising earlier than usual in the state this flu season. The CDC has tips on protecting yourself and others from RSV, the flu, and COVID-19.
In a follow-up to the above interview, Thompson tells KNWA/Fox 24 that flu cases are rising faster than usual this flu season.
“We have neither seen the rate of infection, the number of hospitalizations, or these numbers of deaths this early in the flu season in the last seven years,” he tells reporter Macy Davis.
When it comes to prevention, now is the time for increased hand-washing, good hygiene practices, and getting preventative vaccinations, Thompsons says.