Fact Finders: Is your immune system ready for common viruses again?

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 6:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As masks come off, will common viruses be back on the rise? Also, if you haven’t gotten sick in a year, will your immune system be ready for it?

Our local hospitals are already starting to see a surge of people who are sick with common viral infections. That’s according to Tucson Medical Center’s Dr. Sean Elliott.

He says with masks, social distancing, disinfecting, and sanitizing for the past year we have been fairly protected from not just COVID but other common illnesses as well. However, now that we are starting to get back to normal the regular viruses are still out there and our immune systems aren’t as familiar with them as they used to be. Dr. Elliott says our bodies may have lost memory of how to handle these viruses causing an uptick in cases.

”We are going to see a surge of new viral infections. We are seeing that today in our Emergency Departments. Viruses have made a comeback, respiratory viruses, vomiting viruses, they’re out there and we’re getting sick from them as we come out from our social distancing and our masks,” he said.

While we are seeing a surge in these common illnesses now, Dr. Elliott says medical workers are really gearing up for flu season, which is expected to be bad this year. This past flu season, while people were wearing masks and social distancing, flu cases were down 96% in Arizona compared with a typical flu season. That’s according to the state health department.

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