Monday, December 12, 2022

COVID, other viruses creeping up. But it's still better than the last 2 years

In the second week of December 2022, Wisconsin is among a number of states dealing with an uptick in people getting hit by respiratory viruses. And while it hasn't been as bad as other parts of the country, the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases in this state jumped after Thanksgiving, and is back toward 1,000 cases a day for the first time in 3 months.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also noted that most parts of the state had seen an increase in COVID-related hospitalizations in the 2 weeks after Turkey Day. That being said, it is nowhere near the horrifying levels that we were seeing last Winter.

Similarly, November had Wisconsin's largest number of COVID deaths since August, at 115. But we haven't had anything resembling the big spikes in COVID fatalities that we were already seeing at this time in 2020 and 2021.

However, unlike 2020 and 2021, it's not just COVID that's afflicting Wisconsinites these days. Flu and other Influenza-Like-Illnesses (ILI) have been on the rise in November and December, much earlier than our recent flu seasons, and more widespread.

Monday's update of the Respiratory Virus Survelliance Report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services also noted that while RSV isn't as overwhelming as it was in early November, "regular" flu strains have become more common.

I've personally known a sizable amount of people that have had to deal with the full variety of these viruses in recent weeks, and you likely have too. I've taken the precautions I can (bivalent COVID booster and flu shot), and have been somewhat more aware of my surroundings, and haven't gotten hit yet (knocks on wood).

But it's been a rough start to Winter for a lot of folks, and while it's nowhere near as bad as the last 2 COVID Winters, it still doesn't feel like we're back in the pre-COVID normal as Christmas and New Year's looms in the coming weeks. Stay smart and aware out there!

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