The latest on COVID, respiratory illnesses & the flu in Arizona

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Will Humble, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association, talks about the latest with the newest COVID variants, an update on boosters, and a look at concerns over the flu and respiratory illnesses in children.

Concerns over Respiratory Syncytial Virus

“RSV is a respiratory virus that’s particularly dangerous for kids, little kids especially. We have RSV every year, it’s something that happens every winter season. This year, it’s still October, and we’re seeing a really big increase in this RSV transmission among little kids,” explained Humble.

“For older kids and adults it’s not a big deal, but for little kids it can be quite dangerous,” he said.

He predicts that RSV may not be as horrible all winter, but it will definitely run its course this season. “Just because it starts early, doesn’t mean it’s going to last forever,” Humble said.

Updates with Flu season

“Hardly few cases of known Influenza yet in Arizona, not much around the US yet, but we saw in the southern hemisphere they had a really robust Influenza season,” said Humble.

He further explains that due to masking and other COVID-19 restrictions that our Influenza seasons have been quite mild.

“We talk about the elderly a second ago, call to action is to make your Influenza appointment and get that vaccine done, and your Bivalent booster for Seniors,” said Humble. He also suggests to spread out your vaccinations.

“Generally, we’re later on in the year than the rest of the country, not always. In general, it’s January or February, so you got some time,” he said, but suggested to get your COVID booster now.

Potential Omicron sub-variants and COVID booster

“The Bivalent booster includes the messenger RNA that stimulates the antibody response specifically for the Omicron variant,” said Humble.

The new variants have been detected in Arizona, but they have not become a widespread threat yet. The booster is suppose to help you fight a really bad outcome.

Will Humble, Exec. Dir. of the Arizona Public Health Association

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