The CDC’s winter guidelines for COVID-19, Flu and RSV : Short Wave : NPR

1707953004 The CDCs winter guidelines for COVID 19 Flu and RSV | isentertainmentgroup

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A schoolboy shows a positive Covid-19 test.

Damien Meyer/AFP via Getty Images

Winter is upon us – and with the holiday travel and time spent indoors comes a triple threat of respiratory diseases: RSV, flu and COVID-19. Most of the country has been experiencing high or very high respiratory virus levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There’s also a new COVID-19 variant: JN.1, which is responsible for over 60% of the COVID-19 cases from early January. This new variant, coupled with the fact that only about 1 in 5 people have received a COVID booster, could be the reason why COVID-19 levels are even higher this winter than they were last winter.

But there are some bright spots, according to NPR health correspondent Pien Huang. Meaningful metrics like hospitalizations and deaths are lower compared to last year. And luckily, hospital capacity has remained stable for most of the season – meaning people with severe cases of respiratory viruses can get help a little more quickly.

Want to hear about another health story making headlines? Email us about it at shortwave@npr.org — we might cover it on a future episode!

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This episode was produced by Margaret Cirino and edited by Rebecca Ramirez. Pien Huang reported this episode and checked the facts. The audio engineer was David Greenburg.