A COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Eugene in February 2022.

COVID-19 has loosened its grip on much of the world. But as masking and social distancing vigilance has decreased, other viruses have made vengeful returns.

Over the holiday season, households and health care providers dealt with the impacts of ongoing COVID-19 cases, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, known as RSV.

“It has been a rough season,” Dr. Melissa Sutton, medical director for Respiratory Viral Pathogens for the Oregon Health Authority, said. “We are seeing our hospitals just overwhelmed. We are seeing our friends and our family members get sick, and often quite sick.”

Other viruses are also infecting people, but they can be harder to track.

This season has had an especially high rate of illness and the viruses hit people earlier than in years past.

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