Home CDC recommends masking again for spread of flu, RSV and COVID-19

CDC recommends masking again for spread of flu, RSV and COVID-19

Rebecca Barnabi
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The Centers for Disease Control encourages Americans to mask indoors to prevent the spread of flu and RSV, as well as COVID-19, this holiday season.

Instances of flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are the highest in the United States, with the highest numbers reported in Virginia, since 2010-2011.

In a call with reporters Monday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that wearing a mask is a precaution that can be taken every day to reduce the risk of spreading illness.

Walensky also encouraged all eligible Americans to get their COVID-19 boosters and annual flu shots.

“I want to emphasize that the flu vaccine can be life saving and, importantly, there’s still time to get vaccinated to be protected against flu this season and its potential serious consequences,” Walensky said Monday.

Walensky told reporters Monday that RSV peaked in the Southeast states, and is leveling off in the Mid-Atlantic, but the rate of infection remains high.

The flu arrived early this season in the U.S. and infected more than 8.7 million, including 78,000 who were hospitalized, according to CDC data. Fourteen children have died from the flu, and 4,500 Americans have died. In the week ending November 26, more than 19,000 were hospitalized with the flu, nearly double the previous week.

The CDC also reports that hospitalizations from COVID-19 increased by 27 percent int the week ending December 2.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.