Thanksgiving 2022: Doctors warn of flu, RSV and COVID ahead of holiday dinner

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — All over the Delaware Valley, families prepare for Thanksgiving dinner.

“2020 was a virtual Thanksgiving and this will be the first time that everyone is back together, all at the same dining table,” said Bala Cynwyd’s Tyler Hoops. “So grateful for that and looking forward to it.”

“If we’re sick, if we feel sick, we stay home,” Wynnefield’s Anastasia Briscoe said. “I’ve had to turn down birthday parties when he’s sick or I’m sick just because you don’t know.”

But with more people taking to the streets than in previous years, there is also a huge rise in disease.

“We still see a lot of sick children in our hospital, in our primary care clinics, and in our emergency rooms, so there’s still a lot of respiratory virus spreading,” said Dr. Jonathan Miller, director of primary care at Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley.

Doctors say COVID-19 isn’t the only concern this year. You see an increase in cases of RSV and flu.

Weekly flu cases across the country have skyrocketed much earlier this season, doubling last year’s peak, according to the team at Action News Data Journalism. But it wasn’t as high as before the pandemic.

“Everyone has been less exposed to these viruses in recent years because we’ve all been trying really hard not to get or spread COVID and so there’s less immunity,” Miller said.

And doctors say the best way to stay safe this Thanksgiving is to be transparent with other family members, find out who is immunocompromised and stay away if symptoms appear. But if you decide to come together, wear a mask.

“Maybe then there’s an opportunity for grandma or great-grandmother to have dinner at a place farther away where the masks are off so they’re not exposed in a room full of sick people, or they could eat in stages. said Dr. William Surkis, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Lankenau Medical Center.

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