Americans gathered for Thanksgiving last week as flu season worsened is in Experts continue to urge caution as multiple respiratory viruses circulate at high levels nationwide.
An increasing number of US states (currently 33) have ‘high’ or ‘very high’ respiratory virus activity, and seasonal flu activity continues to ‘rise countrywide’ . U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the week ending November 19, nearly 1 in 10 (9.4%) deaths nationwide were due to pneumonia, influenza, or Covid-19, well above the seasonal baseline of about 6%. increase. The CDC estimates that at least 6.2 million people got sick, 53,000 were hospitalized and 2,900 died from the flu this season.
Influenza and RSV, another respiratory virus that particularly affects children, hit earlier and harder this season as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the past two seasons and countries eased precautionary measures. is receiving
Flu continues to rise, but RSV is showing signs of slowing nationwide, but positive test rates are still higher than they were a few years ago, and cumulative hospitalization rates are about 10 times higher than normal at this point in the season. It is In less than two months, his RSV hospitalization rate this season is already nearing his total RSV hospitalization rate From the entire 2018-19 season.
Thousands of people die from Covid-19 every week.
The latest monitoring data doesn’t capture the impact of Thanksgiving week and holiday gatherings. Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths reached record highs during last holiday season. This holiday season can also bring spread of infection.
Experts expect this year to be better than last, but in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, they stressed the importance of precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of all respiratory diseases.
“In some areas, we have seen a downward trend in RSV numbers. Flu cases are still trending upward. “It all boils down to saying that with a vaccine, we’ll do everything we can to prevent it.”
CDC data indicates that only 12% of eligible people in the United States have obtained the latest Covid-19 booster, and about 1 in 5 people nationwide are not yet fully vaccinated. Influenza vaccination is also lagging behind, with millions fewer shots than in the last two years at this point in the season.
However, there is no vaccine to protect against RSV, and children’s hospitals remain overcrowded, despite improving trends in the spread of the virus.
Pediatric hospital beds have been more full than usual for months. Children’s health leaders announced this month amid “an alarming surge in pediatric respiratory diseases such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza, in addition to the ongoing mental health emergency for children.” called for a formal state of emergency from the federal government to help hospitals and communities.
With the holiday season and flu season beginning, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that emergencies could occur.
“When beds in intensive care units barely move, when almost all intensive care units are occupied, it is bad for children with RSV who need intensive care. Children who occupy beds and have many other ailments that require intensive care and ICUs don’t have beds for them.” Sunday’s “Face the Nation” on CBS. “So when you get into that situation, it’s approaching an emergency.”
Still, Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator, said he was confident the United States would weather the respiratory virus surge.
“We are in contact with all jurisdictions across the country regarding hospital capacity. If additional assistance is needed, the federal government is ready to help and ready to deploy support staff. , is very clear that we are ready to help and ready to send additional supplies,” Jha told CNN last week. I am confident that we will get through this if we stand up to protect our families by doing what we do.”