Health officials urge vax, mitigation ahead of virus trio

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State health officials are urging residents to get vaccinated and take other steps to protect themselves from infectious diseases to mitigate the strain on hospitals this winter by COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. That was the primary message of last Wednesday’s public health ECHO, held via Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe Mclaughlin said that Alaska hasn’t yet been hit hard by this fall’s influenza or RSV outbreaks, but that national trends show strong waves and high levels of hospitalization, especially in children.

“That’s an indication that we are going to see likely higher rates of hospitalization in the pediatric age groups than we have

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