“Presently, the USA is experiencing a resurgence within the circulation of non-COVID-19 respiratory viruses,” Dr. José R. Romero, Director of the CDC’s Nationwide Heart for Immunization and Respiratory Ailments informed reporters throughout a media telebriefing Friday. He pointed to elevated ranges of flu; RSV, an higher respiratory sickness widespread amongst youngsters below age 5; and rhinoviruses, that are the commonest explanation for colds.
“Nonetheless, it’s necessary to notice that COVID-19 isn’t gone.”
The overwhelming majority of kids hospitalized within the intensive care unit at Kids’s Healthcare of Atlanta are for respiratory viruses in accordance with a spokesperson. Flu-related hospitalizations are the driving pressure behind the present onslaught.
RSV, which had surged in infants and younger youngsters in August, September, and October, has been slowing down in current weeks. The variety of youngsters hospitalized for COVID-19 at Kids’s is a distant third.
Dr. Andi Shane, division chief for pediatric infectious illness at Kids’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory College stated a lot of the youngsters hospitalized at Kids’s for the flu haven’t been vaccinated. The CDC recommends everybody 6 months and older get a flu shot yearly by the top of October, although the company stresses getting the vaccine later is best than not getting in any respect. A flu vaccine can prevent infection, and among those who still become sick with flu, vaccination can cut back the severity of the sickness
CDC information exhibits flu vaccine protection amongst all youngsters this yr is at 24.8%, comparable to the vaccine rates at the same time last year of 25.2%.
Final month, Kids’s Healthcare of Atlanta stated they have been seeing an “unprecedented” variety of sick youngsters, forcing them to develop their emergency room with a tent erected in a parking zone. The hospital can also be urging non-pediatric emergency rooms to take care of some youngsters, particularly older teenagers, as a substitute of transferring them to Kids’s, in accordance with a spokesperson.
A hospital spokesperson declined to supply particular numbers however stated the surge is 2 to 3 occasions their regular quantity of sufferers.
On Friday afternoon, in accordance with the hospital system’s web site, emergency room wait occasions have been greater than three hours in any respect Kids’s Healthcare of Atlanta Hospitals.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals stayed dwelling and wore masks, circumstances of flu and RSV fell to traditionally low ranges. Many individuals, particularly younger youngsters, didn’t develop immunity as a result of they weren’t uncovered to viruses. Now, amid the loosening of COVID precautions, these sicknesses are making a roaring comeback.
There’s no vaccine for RSV and by the age of two, almost all youngsters have had the virus. Signs typically seem like a standard chilly and may embrace a runny nostril, congestion, and fever. However in some circumstances, RSV can flip harmful, particularly amongst infants, resulting in respiratory hassle and problems corresponding to pneumonia.
In the meantime, the flu, which bought off to an unusually early and drastic begin this fall, continues to accentuate.
Georgia is one of nine states in the country, along with Washington, D.C., with “very high” flu activity, according to the latest CDC flu activity map.
The Georgia Division of Public Well being stories an estimated 6% of affected person visits to medical doctors have been for flu or flu-like sicknesses through the week ending Oct. 22, in accordance with the latest week for which numbers can be found. That’s up from 5.9% from the earlier week. There have been 105 individuals in metro Atlanta hospitalized with influenza through the week ending Oct. 22, and up to now this season two adults have died on account of the flu in Georgia, in accordance with DPH.
AJC information journalist Stephanie Lamm contributed to this text.
Flu by the numbers in Georgia
6% – estimated proportion of affected person visits to medical doctors for flu or flu-like sicknesses.
105 – variety of individuals hospitalized for influenza in metro Atlanta
2 – quantity of people that have died within the state from the flu up to now this season
Supply: Georgia Division of Public Well being and based mostly on the latest out there surveillance for the week ending Oct. 22.