Anita S. Henderson, MD, discusses rise in RSV, flu cases

While respiratory infections and case counts are climbing throughout the U.S., southern states are being hit the hardest. According to Walgreens flu tracker, Louisiana and Mississippi are reporting the most widespread flu activity at the top of 2022-23 flu season.

At Hattiesburg Clinic and in the Pine Belt, pediatricians Anita Henderson, MD, and Victoria Sivils, MD, said they have seen a drastic increase in respiratory infections, including RSV, flu and even still COVID-19, over the last week.

“We are having a very high positivity rate on flu here in my clinic,” Henderson said. “When I checked yesterday, over half of the flu tests we did yesterday were positive, so we have over 50% positivity rate on flu here.”

Sivils noted pandemic precautions, such as social distancing, may have led to the increase in RSV and flu cases as our immune systems are not as prepared to fight the virus, which has been relatively mild since the emergence of COVID-19.

“I do think that is a natural consequence of how strange the last two years have been,” Sivils said.

Henderson and Sivils encouraged everyone to get their annual flu shot, and if they or their child are exhibiting flu-related symptoms, to stay home to avoid spreading it to others.

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