Fall and winter are when viruses that cause respiratory diseases usually circulate at high levels. Last year, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), influenza (flu), and RSV caused high rates of severe illness and strained health care systems nationwide.
In the 2022-2023 season: COVID-19 hospitalizations surged, flu-related hospitalizations returned to a range seen in seasons before the COVID-19 pandemic, and RSV-related hospitalizations were 1.5 times higher than typical pre-pandemic rates.
This year, CDC has implemented a Respiratory Viruses Response, led by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. This response is coordinating CDC’s ongoing work on these viruses and integrating new and existing resources to help people protect themselves and their families from serious illness this fall and winter.
Through the Respiratory Viruses Response, CDC is working to:
- Prevent illness and death from respiratory disease by using effective tools, including, for the first time in the United States, vaccines to protect against RSV.
- Advance health equity and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe disease.
- Use high-quality data to detect trends in disease and quickly characterize new variants and novel viruses.
- Support health care workers to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of COVID-19, flu, and RSV in their facilities.
- Promote practical, effective action including vaccination, ventilation improvements, masking, and hand washing to protect against respiratory diseases.
- Increase timely access to testing and treatments to enable individuals.
Visit CDC’s Protect Yourself from COVID-19, Flu, and RSV webpage for additional resources and stay up to date with weekly CDC updates on the respiratory illness season at CDC Respiratory Virus Updates.