As the seasons get colder and with lower temperatures, hospital trips and flu cases are on the rise. Doctors are sharing the best way you and your family can stay healthy this flu season.

The latest map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows high levels of hospital visits for respiratory illness in Florida, as of Nov. 11.

“We do seem to be kind of a hot spot and that’s pretty typical of what we’ll generally see,” said Thomas Unnasch, Emeritus distinguished professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health. “It just has a lot to do with socialization and how much contact people are having with each other.”

So far this fall, the CDC estimates that there’s been at least 780,000 flu cases.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is also a concern. As for Covid-19 cases, they seem to be slowing down.

“The numbers are really starting to increase,” Unnasch said. “At least doubling over the last four weeks or so here in the state of Florida. On the other hand, Covid seems to be just puttering along. So we may be in a situation this year where we’ll mostly see, you know, RSV and influenza as a problem and not so much Covid.”

According to the CDC, it’s not yet clear how effective the current flu vaccines are, but doctors say it’s one of the best ways to minimize the chances of being hospitalized.

“I will wear masks and I carry hand sanitizer around and try and keep my hands away from my face and do the best I can, and that’s basically the best thing that you can do,” he said. “Wash your hands a lot and try not to breathe other people’s air as much as possible.”

According to the latest data, about 35% of adults and 33% of children in the U.S. have been vaccinated against the flu virus.

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