Preparing for another winter

Winter isn’t even close, and already we’re seeing an increase in illnesses.

They’re calling it a tripledemic, and it includes the regular flu, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and our enemy Covid. Instead of the cold driving us indoors (and around others who can pass along an illness to us), we’ve been pushed indoors by the heat as we seek cooler temperatures.

The flu by itself always hits seniors hard. RSV does as well. There are vaccines for both, with the one for RSV being approved in May. Unfortunately, people with RSV can pass the virus to others in the first few days when they don’t know they’re ill, and then stay contagious for three to eight days.

And now we have a new variant of Covid, a subvariant of XBB, which was a variant of omicron, which they’ve labeled EG.5 -- and nicknamed “Eris” on social media. It’s becoming the dominant strain. While there is no specific booster for it, the new booster that is being made for last year’s variant is said to have enough overlap to protect from the new EG.5 -- when it’s finished being manufactured. The estimate at this point is that it will be available in October.

• Read the complete column in the Friday, Aug. 25 print edition of the Clinton Journal or now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.