AP NEW YORK, By Mike Stobbe — Flu is picking up steam while RSV lung infections that can hit kids and older people hard may be peaking, US health officials said Friday.

COVID-19, though, continues to cause the most hospitalizations and deaths among respiratory illnesses — about 15,000 hospitalizations and about 1,000 deaths every week, said Dr. Mandy Cohen, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency is also looking into reports of pneumonia outbreaks in children in two states, but Cohen said “there is no evidence” that they are due to anything unusual.

As for the flu season, seven states were reporting high levels of flu-like illnesses in early November. In a new CDC report on Friday, the agency said the tally was up to 11 states — mostly in the South and Southwest.

In the last month, RSV infections rose sharply in some parts of the country, nearly filling hospital emergency departments in Georgia, Texas and some other states. But “we think we’re near the peak of RSV season or will be in the next week or so,” Cohen said.

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus is a common cause of mild coldlike symptoms but it can be dangerous for infants and older people.

Cohen was asked about pneumonia cases in children reported in Massachusetts and in Warren County, Ohio, near Cincinnati. There are a number of possible causes of the lung infection, and it can be a complication of COVID-19, flu, or RSV.

FILE – A patient is given a flu vaccine Friday, Oct 28, 2022, in Lynwood, Calif. Seasonal flu continues to pick up steam in the US. But among respiratory viruses, COVID-19 remains the main cause of hospitalizations and deaths, health officials said Friday, Dec.1, 2023 AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill