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U.S. Health Officials Report Increase in Flu Cases and Possible Peak in RSV Infections

According to U.S. health officials, flu cases are on the rise, while RSV lung infections, which can affect children and older individuals severely, may be reaching their peak. Dr. Mandy Cohen, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mentioned that COVID-19 continues to be the leading cause of hospitalizations and deaths among respiratory illnesses, with about 15,000 hospitalizations and 1,000 deaths weekly.

The CDC is investigating reports of pneumonia outbreaks in children in two states, although there is currently no evidence to suggest that they are due to anything unusual. The flu season has seen an increase, with eleven states, mostly in the South and Southwest, reporting high levels of flu-like illnesses.

RSV infections have also surged in certain parts of the country, with hospital emergency departments in Georgia, Texas, and other states nearing full capacity. Dr. Cohen stated that they believe the peak of the RSV season is either near or will be reached in the next week.

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, commonly causes mild cold-like symptoms but can be perilous for infants and older individuals. Regarding pneumonia cases in children in Massachusetts and Warren County, Ohio, it was noted that there are various possible causes, and the lung infection can also be a complication of COVID-19, flu, or RSV.

In Ohio, health officials have reported 145 cases since August, with most children recovering at home. The illnesses were caused by a variety of common viruses and bacteria. Additionally, China recently experienced a surge in respiratory illnesses, which health officials there attributed to the flu and other common causes.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group, with the AP being solely responsible for all content.

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