(COLORADO) — UCHealth is warning of a concerning virus season this fall and winter with flu, COVID-19, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) expected to be circulating at the same time.
According to UCHealth flu season typically peaks in December and lasts until around April. This year, UCHealth said Coloradans can expect to see flu start circulating in October and possibly peaking in November. Predictions for this year are based on modeling and trends seen in the Southern Hemisphere.
In Australia, the combination of viruses was cause for serious concern said UCHealth. Cases of all three viruses increased at the same time, reaching higher-than-average levels.
“It was a rough couple of months seeing all three of those viruses at the same time, and children seem to have been affected by the flu and RSV combination more this year in Australia than in previous years,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention and control at UCHealth. “This is why we’re encouraging everyone, and especially kids, parents and grandparents, to get their vaccinations early.”
According to UCHealth, a new COVID-19 vaccine is set to become available by the end of September. The new vaccine focuses on the XBB.1.5 Omicron variant. UCHealth said while it is safe to get the flu vaccine and the new COVID-19 vaccine at the same time, UCHealth encourages Coloradans to get each as soon as they become available.
UCHealth is also warning about RSV, a virus it said is known to cause ‘croup’ in kids and bronchitis and pneumonia in adults or individuals who are older or have underlying lung diseases like asthma or COPD
The FDA recently approved a new vaccine to protect older adults and immunocompromised individuals against RSV, specifically for people who are 60 or older and pregnant people.
“As UCHealth infectious disease experts prepare to see the combination of viruses this fall and winter season, Coloradans are encouraged to stay home if they are sick, practice proper hand hygiene, use sanitizer, and wash surfaces thoroughly. Anyone who has a weakened immune system should wear a mask in large gatherings,” said UCHealth