Why Is Everyone Always Sick Right Now?

Why Is Everyone Always Sick Right Now?


If you haven’t had it happen to you, you’ve probably noticed among your friends that everyone seems to be perpetually sick right now. They are testing negative for the flu and for COVID, but they have cold-like symptoms and a hacking cough that just won’t seem to go away. So, what’s going on?

The recent surge in illnesses in Georgia and throughout the U.S. can be attributed to a confluence of factors, primarily the simultaneous circulation of multiple respiratory viruses, including the flu, RSV, COVID-19, and the usual round of cold viruses.

Increased Flu Activity: The flu season in the United States, including Georgia, has begun with high levels of activity. Georgia is among the states experiencing very high flu activity. Traditionally, the flu season intensifies in December or January, but this year it started earlier, in November. This early onset of the flu season contributes to the widespread sickness​​​​.

Impact of RSV and COVID-19: Alongside the flu, Georgia is also dealing with RSV and COVID-19. RSV is particularly severe in infants and young children and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than one year in the U.S. While COVID-19 cases are declining, the threat posed by these three viruses together is significant. The simultaneous presence of these respiratory viruses is creating a compounded effect on public health​​​​.

Environmental and Social Factors: The Georgia Department of Public Health has noted that factors like holiday gatherings, crowded travel, and increased time spent indoors during the colder months contribute to the easier spread of germs, exacerbating the situation. Such conditions are conducive to the transmission of respiratory viruses​​.

The Role of Masking: Another issue health officials have pointed to is the fallout from COVID-19’s arrival. Increased masking and hygeine efforts in the past two years have created an immunity gap. Our bodies are not used to the new strains of viruses and are catching them much easier than they were prior to COVID.

National Flu Statistics: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are continued increases in flu activity nationwide. This year’s prevalent flu virus strain typically results in fewer hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly, the group most affected by the flu. However, the CDC estimates significant numbers of flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths this fall, including among children​

To sum it all up, we’re in the middle of a bad cold and flu season that our bodies are just not prepared for right now, according to medical experts. Hopefully by spring we will stop coughing.

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