RSV and flu cases continue to soar in Arizona
Like much of the U.S., Arizona is seeing winter respiratory viruses spreading several weeks earlier than would be expected in a typical season.
The Arizona Department of Health Services this week reported more than 1,300 cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. That’s 20 times higher than what’s expected for this time of year. Flu cases are about 10 times higher than the five-season average.
There is no vaccine for RSV, but Eugene Livar, assistant director for public health preparedness with the state health department, is encouraging Arizonans to get flu vaccinations and get up-to-date with COVID-19 boosters as respiratory infections continue to soar.
“Getting vaccinated can help reduce the severity of illness, it can help keep you out of the hospital, helping to make those resources available to others if needed, and you can not only help protect yourself, but help protect others," Livar told KJZZ News.
Livar said the health department is monitoring hospital capacity statewide as these numbers continue to rise. Earlier this week, the state’s largest hospital system, Banner Health, added visitor restrictions in response to increases in respiratory viruses.