Flu (Influenzas) and COVID Updates
There has been a recent concern for rises in fu and COVID cases across the United States and an increased number of hospitalizations. Flu cases are very high in 45 of the 50 states, but new COVID cases are still considered low in a majority of states based on new cases per 100,000 people. Maryland is considered a very high state along with some of our neighboring states for flu cases, but low for COVID with 91% of the state’s population vaccinated for COVID.
People with the flu and COVID-19 at the same time can have more severe disease than people with either flu or COVID-19 alone. Anyone who feels sick should stay home and get tested. The flu and COVID share many of the same symptoms even though they are two separate contagious respiratory illnesses. Common symptoms
- Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Diarrhea (more frequent in children with flu, but can occur at any age with COVID-19)
- Change in or loss of taste or smell, although this is more frequent with COVID-19.
As of December 7, 2022, the 7-day average of weekly new COVID cases (65,569) increased by 49.6% compared with the previous 7-day average (43,825). The new variants are very contagious compared to the original COVID virus.
Winter weather will keep many of us inside and closer together. Our best defense to prevent serious illness and hospitalization from the flu or COVID is to get vaccinated, and practice good hygiene by washing hands, using sanitizer, and coughing into your sleeve. Talk with your health provider if you have questions and seek immediate medical help if you begin to suffer from severe breathing difficulties.
Montgomery County: County officials recommend precautionary measures such as wearing masks to slow transmission, protect the most vulnerable populations, and keep hospitalizations down as COVID-19 cases rise in the region. County cases have steadily risen, doubling since the recent low on November 28. Free home COVID-19 test kits are now available for every household.
This article was featured in the January 2023 Newsletter. Visit the Takoma Park Newsletter webpage to see the full list of past newsletters.