(KRON) — As Thanksgiving travelers return home — be it across the country or here in the Bay Area — they are being confronted with various illnesses on the rise.
“Almost everybody I know, for example, is sick and they’re sick with one thing or the other, either from the common cold, COVID to RSV to influenza and they all are kind of bubbling up at the same time,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, UCSF infectious disease specialist.
Chin-Hong said COVID hospitalizations are up at UCSF and nationally there remains about 300 deaths a day. Ninety percent of those who have died have been age 65 or older.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we all worried about our seniors. We vaccinated them so well and the depths dropped in that senior population. And then now we’re kind of forgetting that we need to remind the immune system and it’s probably most important in the senior population,” added Dr. Chin-Hong.
Chin-Hong said just 23% of seniors have had the COVID booster which is a failure that must be corrected. “That booster shot is lifesaving, particularly if you’re older and 65,” said Chin-Hong.
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While COVID infections overall may not be as serious as they were last winter, COVID coupled with the flu and RSV make it as critical as ever to get take whatever preventative steps you can to keep others from getting sick.
“The same techniques that we know for COVID work really well for RSV and influenza and the cool, which is wearing a mask stable if you’re sick, not going to work. And you know, washing your hands,” said Chin-Hong.