CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Respiratory illnesses have been on the rise in the Tri-State.

Just as they predicted, infectious disease specialists said the case numbers for COVID-19, flu and RSV have jumped in the last few weeks.

Flu case numbers are only reported when a person is positive during a hospital stay or during outpatient services.

“So, two weeks ago we were seeing maybe 10 to 15 cases a day. Now, we are up to 25 to 30 cases a day in our outpatient clinics,” said Dr. Stephen Blatt, TriHealth’s medical director of infectious diseases.

Symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, fever and shortness of breath overlap quite a bit among the illnesses. So, how can people know what they have in order to get the correct treatment, especially if they were traveling recently?

Here’s Dr. Blatt’s recommendation:

“I think if you recently traveled for Thanksgiving and you suddenly have fever, cough or shortness of breath, you need to get tested, because there are treatments for both flu and COVID that can keep you from getting worse,” he said.

Those treatments include antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu or Paxlovid. People do need a prescription for those medications and they need to be taken as soon as a person is symptomatic to get the best benefits.

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