COVID cases are falling, but flu and RSV cases are rising ahead of holidays, Mendoza warns

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said that while COVID cases are declining in the region, flu and RSV cases are rising.

The surge comes ahead of the holiday season. He says that community members can protect themselves by getting vaccinated for flu, staying at home if they feel sick, and wearing a mask.

Mendoza said that the county is seeing the first severe flu surge in two years. The county has already confirmed two cases of the flu. Masking and health protocols during the pandemic helped to control the flu in 2020 and 2021. He said that RSV continues to overwhelm hospitals.

The conference comes after three people, all 65 or older, died of RSV in Monroe County as of Monday. Since October 1st, the virus has led to the hospitalization of 247 people in the county, mostly 4 years old or younger. RSV decreased slightly but there’s still a huge upward trend this fall.

“RSV is here and much greater numbers right now than influenza just on a shared volume standpoint. And there is no vaccine for RSV so that’s the sort of thing we all need to pitch in and do our part to keep everybody healthy and safe,” Mendoza said.