RALEIGH, N.C. — This school year, health leaders say beware of the potential triple threat of viruses — including COVID-19, flu and RSV — that can spread quickly in crowded classrooms at schools across our state.

Medical experts with American Family Care have started a Back-to-School Boost education campaign to help prepare families.

What You Need To Know

  • Health leaders warn of a potential triple threat of viruses that can spread quickly as children return to school
  • Those illnesses include COVID-19, flu and the highly contagious RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus
  • Health leaders say they have seen an increase in COVID cases over the past three weeks   

Seth Jaussen, a certified physician assistant with AFC, says the triple threat is a big concern for health leaders.

He says they are seeing an uptick in COVID cases.

“Over the past three weeks, we’ve seen a significant increase week by week and now we are getting new positive tests daily. We did not see this over the summer," Jaussen said. "There is a new variant that has been found in the recent epidemiology studies."

He says it’s important to get vaccinated for COVID. He also urges families to get vaccinated by the end of October to prevent the flu.

“It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take effect. It’s also important to remember that children under the age of 2 should get two doses of the flu vaccine. One primes the immune system, the second provides immunity,” Jaussen said.

Doctors say RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a big concern as well because it’s not just affecting children but also adults.

“RSV is highly contagious. It is crucial for parents of infants and school-aged children to consider giving their child an RSV antibody shot to reduce the spread of the illness,” Jaussen said.

RSV can lead to severe illness like bronchiolitis and pneumonia in kids, according to health experts. Symptoms include runny nose, fever, cough, and trouble eating, drinking and breathing.

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