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Health professionals talk risk of getting sick over the holidays

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Between COVID-19, the flu, and RSV, some health professionals worry that we could be facing a triple threat of infections this holiday season.

The three viruses have been circling for months, now more than ever as people gather with their loved ones for holiday celebrations.

Over the past two months, COVID cases have remained reasonably flat, while two other viruses have also been circling around.

As of December 3rd, there are 206 COVID hospitalizations across Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, but officials say RSV and the flu remain a major concern.

Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association (AHA) is no stranger to staffing shortages and is unsure how long this flu season may last.

“The fact that it’s occurring earlier…I’m not sure if this is going to be an early season that we get rid of and we move on or if it’s going to look more like our normal seasons in terms of we really stretched this out into February,” Williamson said. “In which case, we could have a substantial impact on hospitalizations due to influenza during a long flu season.”

The AHA says hospitals are not nearly as overwhelmed as they were at the beginning of the pandemic, but they’re still not back to where they want to be.

With Christmas approaching, Williamson said the best way you and your family can avoid a trip to the hospital is to get vaccinated.

“What this basically means is that the same sorts of things that we saw during last winter’s COVID surge we could see again not just from COVID but from the trifecta if you will of COVID, RSV and Influenza,” he said.

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