“Tripledemic” outlook for Central Washington
We're not out of the woods, but local health administrators say a drop in influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases comes as no surprise.
"And once it's run its course through the community, we see a herd immunity develop depending on how infectious that influenza A or B at that point in time." Luke Davies with the Chelan-Douglas County Health District said.
Davies says 28 people were hospitalized with the flu over a 24-hour period in December and two people died.
He says today's flu numbers are a sharp contrast from the last flu season when cases were reported at record lows.
"The masking intervention helped buffer and prevent a lot of influenza basically going through the population and so that now we don't have those restrictions anymore we have seen it pick up again this winter." Davies added.
The COVID-19 picture isn't as clear.
The Centers for Disease and Control says the new variant, XBB.1.5, makes up about a quarter of all COVID cases in the U-S right now.
At this time, the CDC’s COVID-19 guidance remains the same about how people can best protect themselves from serious illness.
The CDC says it will continue to investigate the ways in which XBB.1.5 may be different from other Omicron lineages.
The last summary report of Chelan County from the Washington Department of Health shows 29 new cases of COVID-19 per population of 100,000 from 12/19/2022 - 12/26/2022.
In Douglas County, the last summary report during the same time span shows 27 new cases of COVID-19 for every 100,000 people.
In Grant County, the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people was nearly double at 51.