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Flu season typically begins in October, and Texas medical professionals are asking residents to be mindful of their health, and others, and get vaccinated to reduce the spread. Also in the air and all around are two other highly contagious viruses: respiratory syncytial virus and SARS-CoV-2.

“These are the respiratory viruses we see seasonally, usually in the fall and winter, that can cause serious illness in young children, the elderly, and people who are immunocompromised,” stated Dr. Trish Perl, chair of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Infectious Diseases, in a media release issued by the TMA.

According to Perl, the three viruses can present similar symptoms, making it difficult to differentiate among them. Influenza causes the common flu; RSV is responsible for millions of child hospitalizations each year; and SARS-CoV-2 is the virus behind COVID-19. 

The TMA is recommending that at-risk Texans vaccinate themselves against both the flu and SARS-CoV-2. Vaccination against RSV is recommended for pregnant women in their third trimester to prevent transmission of the virus to their newborn baby. Adults over 60 should get the vaccine when recommended by their physician. 

The TMA cautions that those exhibiting the following symptoms avoid social settings to prevent spreading the illnesses:

  • fever 
  • chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue 
  • vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)