Maryland launches RSV hospitalization data dashboard as health experts urge caution

This holiday season medical experts are urging caution when it comes to RSV, the flu, and of course COVID-19. But you might be wondering – how much caution is the right amount?

After all, just Wednesday the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) launched a dashboard showing RSV hospitalization numbers, with MDH Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services Dr. Jinlene Chan saying, "Maryland has seen an early surge of severe respiratory illness, especially in very young and school-age children."

READ MORE: RSV cases push children’s hospitals across DC region to capacity

"It’s not surprising that we’re seeing respiratory viruses come back as people socially interact," Dr. Amesh Adalja of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security told Fox 5, adding that this Thanksgiving is very different from the past two.

"There’s always going to be some level of risk for Thanksgivings in the future, but thanks to medicine and science, we made COVID a much more manageable risk and we’ve got tools for influenza. Eventually we will have tools for RSV, just not this season," Adalja explained. 

He also recommended getting your flu shot, staying up to date with COVID vaccinations, and he said if you’re sick, stay home. But beyond that, Adalja believes people should decide what’s best for them.

READ MORE: Maryland Department of Health launches RSV resource website

"When it comes to what to do during Thanksgiving dinners," he said, "I don’t think there’s a universal list of do’s and don’ts. It’s more about risk tolerance."

MDH’s RSV dashboard can be viewed here.