Flu and COVID-19 rates declining in NRV

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 4:17 PM EST
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The New River Health District and the Community Health Center of the New River Valley say COVID-19 and flu rates are on the decline.

“Hand washing and masks and all the things and flu vaccines and COVID vaccines are all still so important,” Community Health Center of the NRV’s Dr. Megan Thomas said.

She says southwest Virginia was hit hard this fall by what she calls the “triple pandemic,” which is flu, COVID and RSV.

“Our hospitals have been very, very full,” she said. “Luckily, that kind of looks like it peaked kind of at the beginning of January, and we’re starting to tail off a little bit.”

“What goes up comes down, so when you have an early season with respiratory viruses they generally will peak within a few weeks of the start of the upswing,” New River Health District Epidemiologist Jason Deese said.

Even with the drop in these illnesses, Dr. Thomas says we’re not out the woods yet.

“Hopefully, things calmed down a little bit,” she said. “When the kids go to spring break, then they travel and then sometimes everyone comes back and get sick all over again so there may still be more to come.”

Deese says there could be a springtime switch in flu strains.

“Oftentimes, we see a shift from Flu A to Flu B in the springtime and so if you haven’t gotten the flu shot, it is not too late to get it,” Deese said.