Bay Area Residents Trying to Differentiate COVID, Flu and RSV

The numbers are clear as cases of COVID, Flu, and RSV all surging.

Now, growing number of people around the Bay are dealing with a kind of COVID confusion.

For people like Kate Koehneke of San Francisco, she is trying to figure out if she has COVID or the flu and added that it has been a frustrating process for her.

“We test. I just take the test and communicate with the little kids in my life to make sure what they’re carrying and that’s kind of all you can do,” Koehneke said.

The triple threat viruses of COVID, Flu and RSV continue to impact the Bay Area.

In fact, the CDC said that Santa Clara County has now returned to the high tier of COVID cases and nearly half a dozen other local counties are now in the moderate category.

At the same time, data shows flu transmission is high statewide.

UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said flu cases are at their highest rate in more than a decade.

“COVID is just smoldering in the background, much more than it was in early November. But definitely in the background. Probably the dark horse this year and biggest increase is in influenza,” he said. 

He added there is some good news with therapeutics and vaccines fewer people are getting extremely sick from COVID and it appears RSV cases may be leveling off.

Chin-Hong pointed out that it’s not unusual to catch one virus after another, since one doesn’t give you immunity from the other.

It’s something everyone should keep in mind as we begin to gather for the holidays. 

The best defense for people? Health experts recommend people to boosted and get a flu shot. 

“I finally was able to get the new booster. It buys me time so I can see family over Christmas,” Koehneke said.

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