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Originally Published by the Bump

Flu-related hospitalizations are at a 13-year high for this time of year and RSV cases continue to climb, tripling over the last two months.

There are things you hope come early this time of year, Christmas gifts, holiday bonuses and maybe even snow—but what no one was asking for—an early surge in respiratory illnesses. Yet here we are.

An unseasonably high number of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases, along with influenza and other respiratory illnesses like Covid, are putting a strain on hospitals. According to CDC data, over the last two months, RSV cases have tripled, and hospitalized flu cases have hit a 13-year high for this time of year. Below we explain what illnesses are spiking, why cases are up this year and how you can protect your child.

The trifecta of respiratory illnesses hitting hospitals early this winter consists of RSV, Covid and the flu.

Scientists believe that respiratory illness rates are rising as restrictions around covid loosen and fewer people mask and keep their social distance. Some scientists believe that RSV numbers, in particular, are rising as older siblings return to daycare and bring back the germs to different members of the family.

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infection prevention