Health Department Seeing Positive Flu and RSV Cases

CASPER, WYOMING (November 1, 2022) – The Casper-Natrona County Health Department
(CNCHD) is beginning to see an increase in flu and RSV cases. Typically flu and RSV are not as
prevalent this early in the year which could be concerning for the winter season ahead.
CNCHD saw their first confirmed positive flu cases on October 13th, 2022 for the season and has
seen an increase of RSV since the end of September. “This really is atypical for this time of year.
Usually we won’t begin to see flu and RSV cases, specifically in these levels, until the end of
December to early January,” CNCHD Nurse Practitioner Susan Budig said.
Although seasonal flu can affect people of all ages, RSV is particularly dangerous for small
children and infants. Adults get RSV and it usually presents as a typical cold but it effects small
children and infants much differently and can cause issues with breathing in severe cases.
Nationally RSV is rising and in some states it is tapping hospital resources beyond capacity.
Since RSV is a viral infection, there are no medications for its treatment.
Seasonal influenza can also produce extreme symptoms in some individuals, especially in those
who may have underlying conditions or weakened immune systems. However, unlike RSV,
treatment for the flu to lessen severity of symptoms is available if caught in time. The United
States and other countries in the Northern Hemisphere rely upon forecasted information on the flu
season and flu strains from places in the Southern Hemisphere like New Zealand and Australia
who already went through flu season. Based on this information, scientists and doctors are
warning this could be a more severe flu season than we have seen in the last few years.
CNCHD encourages anyone ages 6 months and older to get a seasonal flu vaccine as soon as
possible to help prevent severe illness in the event of disease. “Seasonal flu shots are very
effective at mitigating the risk of severe illness from the flu. In the event you get the flu, if you had
a flu shot this season you should fare pretty well and recover much faster. However, it’s
important to keep in mind that it takes your body about two weeks to reach full immune protection
from your flu shot so you want to get that sooner rather than later”, Budig said.
Additionally, you can protect yourself and loved ones by staying home when you’re sick or not
feeling well, frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and minimizing sharing of
things like eating utensils, cups or other items. Since RSV can present as a common cold for an
adult but be dangerous for infants, it is very important to avoid being in the face of a small child or
infant. Kissing or touching their face, head or hands should also be avoided to limit their
COVID, flu and RSV combo tests are available for children ages 13 and under for $125 or billed
to insurance. Tests are available Monday through Friday from 8:30-4:30 at the Casper-Natrona
County Health Department, located at 475 S. Spruce Street.