Q&A: Getting Ready for RSV, Flu and COVID-19 Season in Colorado

Learn the latest about RSV, Flu and COVID-19 from CU Medicine family medicine provider Anna Kerege, PA-C from CU Medicine Family Medicine – Park Meadows.

The crunch of fallen leaves, school bells ringing and Halloween decor hitting the store shelves can only mean one thing: fall has arrived in Colorado. But on the heels of “leaf peeping” as some refer to watching the changing of the leaves around the state, comes a trio of unwelcome guests – RSV, influenza and COVID-19.

Parents, caretakers, teachers and healthcare workers are sharing a nervous chuckle and bracing for what's ahead as they remember last winter's triple whammy of respiratory illnesses that emptied medication shelves and turned recurring doctor visits into the norm during the peak of flu season.

We spoke with Anna Kerege, PA-C, a provider at CU Medicine Family Medicine – Park Meadows, about what Coloradans can expect this year and how best to protect yourself this cold and flu season.


Are Coloradans looking to face another tripledemic of RSV, flu and COVID-19?

Will we face another so-called ‘tripledemic’ similar to what we saw last year? There’s no way to accurately predict the future, but it’s seeming like things won’t be as severe as last year. With that said, all three of these viruses are still circulating and we encourage everybody to use good hygiene precautions and social distancing when appropriate.

How can we tell the difference between RSV, flu and COVID-19?

It’s difficult to definitively tell the difference between RSV, flu and COVID-19 because they all have overlapping symptoms. To make it even more tricky, new COVID-19 variants can present with different symptoms. The very best way to differentiate the viruses from each other is to get a test when you have symptoms. Clinics like CU Medicine Family Medicine – Park Meadows have tests for all three viruses, but of course you can take your COVID-19 test at home and come to us for RSV and flu testing.

What groups are high-risk and what can they do about these viruses?

Anybody with heart disease, lung disease or who is immunocompromised from another diagnosis or medications are considered high-risk for these viruses. Additional high-risk groups are the elderly and the very young. Trying to avoid these viruses for these groups consists of good hand washing, masking when sick and social distancing from people you know are sick.

Do people need the latest COVID-19 booster vaccine?

The CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) current recommendations are that the latest booster should be administered to anybody over the age of 6 months. Learn more about the latest COVID-19 vaccines here.

How can families keep themselves safe this cold and flu season?

This question is tricky because we know that kids tend to carry a lot of viruses around - even if it’s just a typical cold virus. We recommend that you focus on hand washing, carrying that hand sanitizer around, using a mask when you are sick, social distancing, isolating when you are sick and avoiding people who have cold and flu symptoms.

If you’re not sure which virus you have or have questions, contact your primary care provider or find a CU Medicine location near you to get the latest information on RSV, flu and COVID-19.


CATEGORIES: COVID-19, Health Education

This post was originally posted on 9/27/2023