The United States continues to experience unusually high and early rates of flu and respiratory syncytial virus infections, straining an already strained health care system. Corona virus Epidemic.
In the year By the end of Oct. 29, at least 4,300 flu patients had been admitted to hospitals, the most for that period in a decade and nearly double the number from the previous week, it said. Information was released on Friday. of Flu season It started six weeks ago. This year, at one level It has not been seen since the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.
After being crushed by the number of Covid-19 patients for two consecutive winters, American hospitals of The third winter of Covid – this time, it is stuck on three fronts.
“with Increase in RSV infections“With the increasing number of flu cases and the burden of Covid-19 in our society, there is no doubt that we will face some challenges this winter,” Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell said in a statement to reporters on Friday. But it’s important to remember… RSV and the flu are not new, and we have safe and effective vaccines for both Covid-19 and the flu.
The common respiratory syncytial virus in children with cold-like symptoms known as RSV continues to rise nationally and The stress of children’s hospitals. Trends vary by region; RSV seems to be declining The rise of influenza in the southeast and mountain west. There is no vaccine for RSV except Pfizer. He plans to ask for permission For those administered during pregnancy.
Depending on the situation, health officials are investigating the possibility that Covid could overwhelm hospitals again. New variants Because governments are abandoning efforts to limit the spread and a few elderly people who are more vulnerable to serious diseases Current on their shots.
Some health officials have called the combination of influenza, RSV and the coronavirus a “triple disease.”
of Ann and Robert H. in Chicago. “Covid has affected all of these respiratory conditions right now,” said Tina Tan, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Lurie Children’s Hospital, where RSV cases are on the rise and influenza cases are on the rise. “I don’t think the system will go back to pre-Covid, I don’t think anyone knows, but when you have three viruses that can cause serious illnesses, it makes it more complicated to give people the care they need.” at the same time.”
David Rubin, who tracks respiratory viruses for policy at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said declaring a hospital crisis is premature. A youth mental health crisis and a nationwide shortage of pediatric beds have made it difficult for the health care system to deal with respiratory issues, he said. But adult hospitals are better at responding.
“It depends on when these spikes occur and the magnitude of what we expect to see if Covid comes back this winter,” Rubin said. “We haven’t seen a real spike in Covid hospitalizations this year. If you’re looking for a silver lining, that’s it.”
US government It has medical supplies, including personal protective equipment and ventilators, in stock, but officials said no country has yet requested additional personnel or supplies.
“State and local public health officials are urging parents and families to take precautions now to stay healthy and not put a strain on the hospital system,” said Ann Zink, Alaska Public Health Authority and president of the State and Territory Health Association. Officials in a written statement.
Those precautions include staying up-to-date on vaccinations, staying home when sick, and washing hands regularly. Often missing or reduced from government recommendations is the wearing of masks, a measure rarely taken in past respiratory virus seasons, but Proven effective To stop the spread of the corona virus.
Lynn Goldman, dean of the School of Public Health at George Washington University’s Milken Institute, who serves on a committee advising CDC Director Rochelle Walnsky, asked at a meeting Thursday why agency officials are not recommending masks given the pressure on hospitals.
Brendan Jackson, the CDC’s incident manager on Covid-19, responded Thursday: “Nothing can be mandated at this point.”
Jose Romero, the CDC’s national director of immunizations and respiratory diseases, cited well-fitting masks at the end of a list of preferred precautions. The agency’s press release on Friday.
“If a family wants to, they can use a mask,” Romero said.
As people practice social distancing and wear masks to protect against the coronavirus, not being exposed to other viruses has contributed to the current situation, experts said.
“Not all of the normal exposures that occur year after year that encourage immunity have occurred,” Welensky said Tuesday in an appearance before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “If you go two years without getting that infection, if you don’t prevent that infection, and all of a sudden, boom, everybody from zero to three years old gets RSV, you see the impact on health care.
While RSV is one of the leading causes of hospitalization in young children, the virus poses a greater threat to the elderly and immunocompromised adults. Although the number of coronavirus cases is decreasing, doctors say that those who are medically vulnerable should take extra precautions due to the spread of other respiratory viruses.
“If you’re at high risk, don’t go into those high-risk areas, or wear an N95 mask if you have to go into those areas,” said Aaron Glatt, chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau in New York.
For flu season, the strain on hospitals may not overwhelm the health care system if cases are mild and patients are discharged quickly. Lynette Brammer, an epidemiologist who directs the CDC’s Household Influenza Surveillance Team, said officials have not seen evidence of a more dangerous flu outbreak.
“We’re not seeing anything right now that would lead us to believe it’s more severe,” Bremer said Friday. “It’s Christmas.”