While cases of influenza, COVID, and RSV continue to be high across the U.S., the rate of increase appears to have slowed. We are not seeing a decrease, but levels do seem to be potentially peaking.
With that said, with the holidays being a time for gatherings of family and friends, primarily indoors – particularly with this year’s weather extremes in many areas – TAG continues to recommend the need for protective measures.
- If ill, stay home – away from both work and holiday gatherings to help prevent further spread.
- If you have minor symptoms and need to go out, it is recommended that a mask be worn to protect others.
- Practice good respiratory hygiene (e.g., sneezing/coughing into a tissue or elbow) for others’ protection.
- If of higher risk, you may want to wear a mask whenever in public or in group settings.
- Masks also have become more socially acceptable for all, as the years of COVID have shown many people becoming more conscientious about protecting their health by wearing masks.
For businesses, TAG recommends that masks be made available to employees and visitors. Following the holidays, businesses also should be vigilant for increased absenteeism. If this rises above 10%, ensure that masks are available and recommend (without mandating) that they be worn.
COVID Risk Matrix:
Infectious Disease News
- Ebola. No new Ebola case has been registered in Uganda for over two weeks. Since September 20, 2022, 141 cases have been confirmed and 55 deaths have been counted. The outbreak has slowed but health officials are continuing to monitor for new cases. The World Health Organization says for an area to be declared Ebola-free; it should spend 42 days (two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus) without any new cases reported.
- Influenza. Continuing high cases of flu and other respiratory illnesses in many parts of the US and in Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and additional areas of the world. Alberta reports 21 influenza deaths; but new cases drop for 3rd week straight. NYC officials are strongly urging people to wear masks in public indoor spaces and crowded outdoor ones.
- MERS. Doctors have been warned to be on their guard for signs of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus as England fans return from the World Cup in Qatar.
- RSV. There are some signs that the RSV cases have peaked.
- Measles. India reports a total 10,416 laboratory-confirmed cases and 40 deaths due to measles among children have been reported through December 12. Ohio measles cases are at 77, 29 of whom were hospitalized. No fully vaccinated people were among the cases. On December 11, the Ministry of Health of South Sudan held a press conference stating that in recent months, 2,471 confirmed cases of measles and 31 deaths have been recorded in 22 counties in all 10 states of South Sudan. A measles outbreak occurred across the country.