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HomeBreaking NewsHolidays didn't lead to feared bump in flu cases, CDC says

Holidays didn’t lead to feared bump in flu cases, CDC says

'Quick read' news summary

NEW YORK — New U.S. government data suggests holiday gatherings didn’t spark surges in respiratory diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported that visits to doctors’ offices for the flu-like illnesses fell for the sixth straight week. Reports of RSV, a common cause of cold-like symptoms that can be serious for infants and the elderly, are also down.

When flu and RSV surged in the fall, causing overloads at pediatric emergency rooms, some doctors feared that winter might bring a “ tripledemic ” of flu, RSV and COVID-19. And they worried holiday gatherings might be the spark.

But it didn’t happen, apparently.

“Right now, everything continues to decline,” said the CDC’s Lynnette Brammer, who leads the government agency’s tracking of flu in the United States.

RSV hospitalizations have been going down since November, and flu hospitalizations are down, too.

Of course, the situation is uneven across the country, and some places have more illnesses than others. But some doctors say patient traffic is easing.

“It has really eased up, considerably,” said Dr. Ethan Wiener, a pediatric ER doctor at the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone in New York City.

Dr. Jason Newland, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, said “it has slowed down, tremendously,”

Newland said he wasn’t surprised that flu and RSV continued to trend down in recent weeks, but added: “The question is what was COVID going to do?”

COVID-19 hospitalizations rose through December, including during the week after Christmas. One set of

NEW YORK -- New U.S. government data suggests holiday gatherings didn't spark surges in respiratory diseases. When flu and RSV surged in the fall, causing overloads at pediatric emergency rooms, some doctors feared that winter might bring a “ tripledemic ” of flu, RSV and COVID-19. RSV hospitalizations have been going down since November, and flu hospitalizations are down, too.

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