ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Some are calling it a triple threat. With colder months approaching we could see an increase in flu, RSV and COVID cases. As of Monday, three million New Yorkers have already received the flu shot. At a press event on Wednesday, Governor Hochul and the Department of Health urged New Yorkers to get the shot if they haven’t already. This can be done at your doctor’s office or at any pharmacy.
Another virus on the rise is Respiratory Syncytial Virus, also known as RSV, a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. It can be dangerous for infants and children younger than five.
Dr. James Saperstone says all the three viruses are expected, “I think Instead of calling it a triple threat we’ve got to tone everything down because it just gets people upset and it’s never as bad as we think it is.” Saperstone says the reason for the uptick in all three viruses is because the seasons have been off since COVID and immune systems – especially for children – are adjusting now that kids are back in school.
The state currently has pediatric beds for non ICU capacity at 25 percent. So what are some preventative measures we can take? “Reminding people of good hygiene, cover the cough, wash your hands, keep children and yourself home when you’re sick and of course…we do have vaccines for influenza and for COVID and we need people to get their shots,” said NYS Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett.
And when it comes to COVID-19, cases are down, but it’s still an issue. Just yesterday there were 34 COVID related deaths. “Now we have the new vaccine, the bivalent booster it’s especially effective against Omicron because – here’s what I have to make sure people don’t think – if you got your shot, you got your booster a while back, you got it last year, ‘I’m all good’ no, no, you need to get it updated,” said Governor Hochul.
You can find the latest information on viruses and vaccines at health.ny.gov.