DHS experts urge up-to-date vaccination to stay healthy during holiday season

(WKBT)- Wisconsin health experts say infection rates of three different viruses are all higher than usual right now.

Department of Health Service officials say COVID-19, the flu, and RSV are all active viruses that can get you sick.

RSV cases have already reached levels the state usually doesn’t hit until February, and flu cases have doubled in the last couple of weeks.

Experts say it’s best to be up-to-date on COVID and flu vaccines; if vaccination rates stay low, the state could reach crisis-like levels.

“We’re hoping by getting the message out we can get more people to realize that this is going to be a potentially very severe year,” said Tom Haupt, DHS Influenza Surveillance Coordinator and Respiratory Disease Epidemiologist. “Consider vaccination for the viruses that we can control, doing it for yourself and the people who are around you.

DHS reports the current flu vaccine rate is just 23 percent, a two percent drop from last year.

There is no vaccine for RSV, so officials encourage people to practice healthy habits like good hand-washing, covering coughs, and not touching their faces.