Maine CDC Health Advisory
December 26, 2023
Increased Influenza, COVID-19, and RSV Disease Activity, Immunizations, and Therapeutics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to alert healthcare providers to low vaccination rates against influenza, COVID-19, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). Low vaccination rates, coupled with ongoing increases in national and international respiratory disease activity caused by multiple pathogens, including influenza viruses, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), and RSV, could lead to more severe disease and increased healthcare capacity strain in the coming weeks. In addition, a recent increase in cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) following SARS-CoV-2 infection in the United States has been reported. Healthcare providers should administer influenza, COVID-19, and RSV immunizations now to patients, if recommended. Healthcare providers should recommend antiviral medications for influenza and COVID-19 for all eligible patients, especially patients at high-risk of progression to severe disease such as older adults and people with certain underlying medical conditions. Healthcare providers should also counsel patients about testing and other preventive measures, including covering coughs/sneezes, staying at home when sick, improving ventilation at home or work, and washing hands to protect themselves and others against respiratory diseases.