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COVID, RSV, and flu all in the mix for seasonal illnesses, say Mayo experts

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There’s more to worry about than just COVID this winter.  The flu could make many people sick as well, and RSV is spreading in the U.S. as well. 

Mayo Health System doctors and nurses are preparing to see a mix of those respiratory diseases. 

Dr. Raj Palraj, an infectious disease specialist with Mayo in La Crosse, says people may be easing up on their precautions after two winters fighting COVID.

“Patients are more prone to viruses during the winter season, and there is also relaxation in the use of masks in the public setting,” Palraj says, “and people are gathering more indoors.”

As for keeping kids out of school when they’re sick, Dr. Palraj says children who have had a fever should stay home for one more day after the fever subsides, to allow more time to recover.

Mayo specialists in infectious disease and family medicine are urging people to watch for symptoms to determine if they should come to a clinic.  Registered nurse Nicole Sprague at the Onalaska clinic is seeing a pattern.

“I would definitely say (among) more adolescents, pediatric patients, cough, fever, muscle ache, sore throat have been the most common symptoms that we’ve been having patients present with,” said Sprague.

The Mayo staff says flu cases were unusually low last winter, but that might be because many people were still routinely wearing face masks. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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