Update for K-12 and Early Childcare Settings: Increased Spread of

Multiple Respiratory Viruses Among Children and Adults in Wisconsin

Background 

Data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) show respiratory viruses are spreading rapidly in Wisconsin. In recent weeks, the number of new respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza (flu), and COVID-19 cases have all increased. People at the greatest risk of getting sick from these viruses include: 

· Children. 

· Older adults. 

· People with weakened immune systems. 

This is the first year these three viruses are circulating simultaneously. RSV and influenza activity is uncharacteristically high for this time of year and hospitalizations due to respiratory viruses are increasing in some parts of Wisconsin. 

Prevention 

DHS strongly recommends all Wisconsinites ages 6 months and older get their COVID-19 and flu vaccine.

People can get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time. Everyone 5 years and older should also get

an updated COVID-19 booster when eligible.  

 

People who are sick should talk to a doctor about getting tested for COVID-19, influenza, RSV, or other respiratory viruses. If someone tests positive or has symptoms, they should stay home and away from others. Children who attend school or early childcare programs should follow school exclusion criteria if they test positive or have symptoms for a respiratory illness that would prevent them from participating in usual school or childcare program activities.  

Everyday actions can also prevent the spread of these viruses: 

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Staying home when ill.  

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