As the United States approaches the three-year mark of the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 1.1 million Americans, the country has reached a new unpleasant milestone: 100 million COVID-19 cases, according to data from NBC News.
The U.S. reached that number of confirmed cases on Friday as COVID cases continue increasing nationwide. Additionally, a severe flu season and the spread of the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, have led to a disturbing so-called “tripledemic” of respiratory viruses.
Health officials throughout the country, including CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, are urging the public not only to vaccinate themselves against the flu and COVID but to also use masks. There is no vaccine to prevent RSV infection.
“We also encourage you to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses,” Walensky said during a Dec. 5 call with reporters. “We now face yet another surge of illness. Another moment of overstretched capacity and really one of tragic and often preventable sadness.”
With holiday traveling and people gathering indoors due to cold temperatures, viruses tend to spread more during the winter season. Historically, the most deaths and cases from both COVID-19 and the flu in the U.S. occur through the winter months.
The most recent data from NBC News shows average daily U.S. COVID-19 cases increased by nearly 40% in the last two weeks. The U.S. reached 1 million COVID-19 deaths in early May.
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