TOPEKA (KSNT) – Respiratory viruses are on the rise this fall.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the flu and COVID-19 are spreading rapidly after a week of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings. Doctor James Herrin, M.D. of Topeka ER & Hospital said the flu is the biggest problem of the three right now.

According to the CDC, the flu is spreading all over the country, not just here in Topeka. In this week’s report, the CDC said the hospitalization rate for influenza cases is the highest its been at this point in the year since the 2010-11 season.

Dr. Herrin said the CDC’s numbers are concerning because they’ll likely get higher as the season progresses. After what he’s seen at Topeka ER & Hospital so far this year, Herrin said flu cases are even higher now than they were two weeks ago. RSV has also been rampant for roughly the past month.

Thanksgiving travel didn’t help, but doctors encourage everyone to do what they can to keep things under control.

“Definitely if you are having any upper respiratory symptoms, cough or any of those, sore throat or anything like that, don’t go outside,” Herrin said. “Or if you absolutely have to, you can wear a mask. That will help prevent spread. Especially if you’re immunocompromised, wear a mask. There’re just too many viruses out right now. There’s still COVID there, but flu and RSV will get you too.”

Herrin said the biggest thing right now is getting vaccinated. Whether it’s for the flu or COVID-19, a vaccine is the best way to keep viruses from spreading and causing harm. Especially with kids being in school and the weather getting colder, Herrin said it’s important for everyone to take care of themselves this time of year.

If you’re feeling under the weather, make sure you stay home, wash your hands often and get your flu shot if you haven’t already.