Passengers wearing masks walk through the Capital airport terminal in Beijing on Dec. 13, 2022. (AP Photo / Ng Han Guan, File)

The increase in cases across China follows the rollback of the nation’s strict anti-virus controls. China’s “zero COVID” policies had kept the country’s infection rate low but fueled public frustration and crushed economic growth.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday said the city is expected to move from a “medium” risk level for contracting COVID-19 back to a “high” risk level, likely sometime in the next week. When that happens, the city will reinstate an advisory, urging Chicagoans to mask up.

Strep A illustration. (CDC)

“It’s too soon to say whether iGAS case numbers are just returning to pre-pandemic levels or if they are rising beyond what we would normally expect based on what we know about GAS seasonal patterns,” CDC spokesperson Kate Grusich wrote In an email.

(INeverCry / Wikimedia Commons)

Rates of deaths from drug overdoses among older adults have more than tripled in the past two decades, according to one report published Wednesday by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. In 2020, more than 5,000 adults 65 and older in the United States died of a drug overdose.

A registered nurse and immunization outreach coordinator with the Knox County Health Department, administers a vaccination to a kid at the facility in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Friday May 17, 2019. (AP Photo / Paul Vernon, File)

In a report issued Wednesday, the WHO and the CDC said millions of children were now susceptible to measles, among the world’s most contagious diseases. In 2021, officials said there were about 9 million measles infections and 128,000 deaths worldwide.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago hospitals and health care providers are also coping with sharp increases in flu cases and illness caused by RSV, a respiratory virus, officials said.

(WTTW News)

There have been about eight flu hospitalizations for every 100,000 people this season — rates typically seen in December or January. The RSV hospitalization rate is 10 times higher than usual for this point in the season, too. 

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The move is likely to reduce fears, at least temporarily, of an imminent surge of COVID-19 once colder weather settled over Chicago for the duration, forcing people indoors.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago and Cook County last faced a medium risk of COVID-19 in mid-September.

A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans’ Community Resource Center where they were offering members and the public free flu and COVID-19 vaccines Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, in Lynwood, Calif. (AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill, File)

Reports of flu are already high in 17 states, and the hospitalization rate hasn’t been this high this early since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, there have been an estimated 730 flu deaths, including at least two children.

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Almost all children catch RSV at some point before they turn 2 years old, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Most adults who catch it have a mild illness; for those who are elderly or who have chronic heart or lung disease or a weakened immune system, it can be dangerous. But RSV can be especially tricky for infants and kids.

A medical attendant disinfects the rubber boots of a medical officer before leaving the Ebola isolation section of Mubende Regional Referral Hospital, in Mubende, Uganda Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. (AP Photo / Hajarah Nalwadda)

Travelers who have been in Uganda at any point during the past 21-days, which is the incubation period for the virus, will be redirected to one of five American airports for Ebola screening, including O'Hare International Airport. 

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago and Cook County last faced a low risk of COVID-19 on May 5. The region has bounced between a medium risk and a high risk all summer.

This electron microscope image shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, from a human skin sample associated with a 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regnery / CDC)

A recent study from the CDC finds that in a sample of nearly 2,000 people who had monkeypox, 38% also had HIV infection and 41% had an STI in the preceding year. Those rates are much higher than the rates of HIV and STIs in the general population.

 The Elkhorn River, just west of Omaha, Neb., is pictured on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. (AP Photo / Josh Funk)

People are usually infected when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose while swimming or diving into lakes and rivers. Other sources have been documented, including tainted tap water in a Houston-area city in 2020.

This 1964 microscope image made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows damage from the polio virus to human spinal cord tissue. (Dr. Karp / Emory University / CDC via AP, File)

Polio was once one of the nation’s most feared diseases, with annual outbreaks causing thousands of cases of paralysis. Its elimination in the U.S., officially declared in 1979, is considered one of the nation’s greatest public health victories.