Winter surge in infections from RSV, flu, and COVID straining U.S. hospitals

William Brangham:

So, let’s take a moment to focus on what people can do to protect themselves during this surge.For that, I am joined again by Katelyn Jetelina. She’s an epidemiologist with the University of Texas. And she writes the Your Local Epidemiologist newsletter on Substack. Katelyn Jetelina, great to have you back on the “NewsHour.” So we have got these three highly contagious viruses, respiratory viruses, circulating in the world right now. I know that they are on different trajectories. But when you look at the data, what does your crystal ball tell you about the winter? Is it going to get worse? Is it going to plateau? What do you see?

Katelyn Jetelina, University of Texas Health Science Center: Yes you know, that’s really the billion-dollar question is, what’s going to happen? And the reason we don’t really know is because flu and RSV are incredibly early this season. Typically, they peak in around January. And for them to peak during Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah is perplexing, because, during all of those holidays, we’re opening up our social networks. So, in fact, this respiratory season, we may see several humps, instead of one big, large hump. So we don’t know. And we’re really approaching this with a lot of humility, and we hope that it’s over soon.

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