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How to help fight RSV and the flu this holiday season

The weekly influenza surveillance by the CDC marks Georgia as a very high activity level state.

MACON, Ga. — Flu season is here and there's been great number of flu cases impacting people nationwide and in Georgia. 

However, RSV cases are also on the rise. 

There are a few things you should know about RSV and the flu as the holiday season kicks off.

"I had 3 grandchildren pass away from RSV. I love my grandchildren and I don't want anything to happen to them," Teresa Spencer said.

Spencer isn't the only grandmother concerned about their precious grandchildren catching RSV. There is also the flu to worry about. 

The weekly influenza surveillance by the CDC marks Georgia as a very high activity level state.

"We're seeing a lot of flu and RSV cases this time of year. It has steadily risen over the last couple of months. The last couple of years we have had less because people were doing distancing and now that that's not happening as much we are seeing those numbers rise," Vincenzo Happach said.

Happach is an emergency medicine resident at Piedmont Macon's Medical Center. He says RSV is more typical in children.

"Children get pretty sick from it. So, if you have a child that's coughing sneezing or running nose, especially if they have a lot of coughing where it effects their breathing, that is concerning for RSV and I would bring them into a hospital," he said.

Happach says the flu and RSV are similar so the ways to prevent them are by practicing healthy habits.

"Washing your hands a lot covering your face when you cough. Of course, the flu shot is really helpful. It is not perfect, you can still get the flu, but it does decrease your risk of getting it it, and it typically decreases the severity of the illness," Happach said.

As for Spencer she says she'll take extra measures to stay safe.

"You just have to be extra careful when it comes down to your children," she said. 

With Thanksgiving days away it's important if you do feel sick just sit the gathering out to keep your loved ones safe.

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