Prepare for Respiratory Virus Season

October 6, 2023
This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

JACKSON, Miss. – The rates of respiratory viruses like influenza, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and COVID-19 tend to increase during the fall and winter months as more people gather indoors. The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) encourages everyone to be aware of the risks and take precautions to avoid infections and severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death.

There are some simple steps that can be taken to prevent disease: stay home when you are ill, cover your coughs, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer often.

This year, there are newly approved options for RSV prevention for certain at-risk individuals. People aged 60 and older, pregnant individuals, and parents or guardians of infants or children 19 months and younger should discuss these options with their healthcare provider.

All individuals aged 6 months and older are recommended to get an updated influenza and COVID-19 vaccination this year. These vaccinations are widely available at many pharmacies and healthcare provider offices. Children 18 years old and younger, as well as uninsured or underinsured adults, can receive influenza vaccinations at the MSDH county health departments.

"Early diagnosis and treatment can limit poor outcomes with influenza and COVID-19," said MSDH Interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Kathryn Taylor, "but vaccination against respiratory viruses like COVID-19, influenza, and RSV remains the best protection against hospitalization and severe outcomes related to infection."

For more information on county health department locations and services, visit

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Press Contact: MSDH Office of Communications, (601) 576-7667
Note to media: After hours or during emergencies, call (601) 576-7400

Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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