LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Those dealing with cold and flu season are not alone this time of year. Experts describe the fall season as the prime time to see several respiratory illnesses going around.
When Heather Seltzer came down with a cough and stuffy nose on Halloween, she first thought it was allergies.
“I was like I’m just tired, I’m worn out and something told me to just take a test and I took it, and sure enough it was positive,” Seltzer recalled.
She said this was her first time catching COVID-19 but is recovering well.
“I’m vaccinated and double boosted and I still got taken down, a 103F fever, cough like everything that could’ve happened, happened,” Seltzer explained. “You never think it’s going to happen to you, everything has been done and you followed all the protocols and it still does.”
Brian Labus, an infectious disease epidemiologist at UNLV said viruses such as the common cold, flu, and COVID-19 are typical during these cold months.
“Right now, we’re probably seeing a lot of Rhinovirus, the common cold virus we see all over the country. It’s something that’s giving people head colds and mild annoying infections but nothing life-threatening,” Labus explained. “We’re seeing regular transmission of COVID now. It’s become one of those viruses that circulate kind of year-round right now. It’s not at a really high level right now. Some places in the country are starting to see some increases but so far it seems pretty low, not to say it won’t take off in the next few months.”
For Seltzer, mitigating the spread was top of mind with two kids at home.
“It was definitely a concern that it didn’t spread and even though they are vaccinated and one of them is boosted, they still both got it as well,” Seltzer said.
Labus said flu cases start to increase and peak around Thanksgiving until February, so people should take precautions now.
“Just be smart about it and do things to protect yourself like get vaccinated, wash your hands, and don’t go if you are sick,” Labus said.