EMERGENCY: Massive spike in Respiratory Illnesses – Is your state at high risk? Get prepared?

Visual Representation | Credits: iStock
Visual Representation | Credits: iStock

United States: The respiratory illnesses, from flu to common cold to COVID-19, have been sweeping the United States as the cases are on the rise. The local and national health authorities have been constantly appealing to the general public to follow the precautionary measures.

The inflow of patients in the hospitals has also increased following the rise, according to the data shared by health officials. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director – Dr Barbara Ferrer mentioned, “Emergency departments, urgent care centers, and hospitals are seeing a lot of patients with respiratory illness,” as per KABC News.

The authorities have further listed that around 38 states, including California, have been experiencing “high to very high” cases of respiratory illness.

Hospital capacity increased!

Hospitals across the United States have been working to increase their capacities to make beds available for infected patients. An emergency room doctor and chairman of the department at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance – Dr. Brad Baldridge, stated, “We have increased our capacity in the hospitals so we can care for all of our patients.”

Visual Representation | Credits: Getty Images

The official data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the weekly hospitalizations because of flu and COVID-19 have increased by 35 percent and 20 percent, respectively. It is to be noted that the highest number of hospital admissions have been reported among the population aged 65 and more.

In addition to this, the CDC mentioned that hospitalizations due to RSV have also increased; however, the highest number of hospital admissions can be registered among the younger population, aged four or below. The health authority further outlined that, fortunately, the RSV cases are witnessing a decrease in some areas of the US.

In this regard, Dr Ferrer stated, “RSV looks like it peaked a couple of weeks ago, and it’s coming down.” Tough, the health experts have been recommending testing.

Medications can keep you out of hospitals: Experts!

The health officials have stated that the current situation is under control, and the disease is treatable because of the availability of medications and jabs.

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While addressing the same, a medical director at Exer Urgency Care – Dr Nathan Newman, said, “It may actually be something that’s treatable. We’ve got medications that are antiviral to treat influenza, and that can treat COVID that keep you out of the hospital, keep you healthier,” according to KABC News.

A sigh of relief: Fewer deaths as compared to last year!

Dr Barbara Ferrer stated that the country has been witnessing fewer deaths as compared to the number of deaths in 2023. She was quoted saying, “We average about somewhere between 3 and 5 deaths a day. Even last winter, we were averaging between 7 and 10 deaths a day, and some days, in the peak season, it was even higher.”

Along with this, the medical experts asked the public to vaccinate and follow the basic precautionary measures, such as wearing a face mask.

Ferrer asserted, “Both flu and COVID will last for a while, so I do encourage people to go ahead and take advantage of those vaccines. Some people are eligible for RSV, older people.”

Meanwhile, Baldridge stated, “If you’re taking public transportation, if you’re in a group setting, you may be the first one in the group to wear the mask, but you may also be the one who doesn’t get sick. We’re quite careful. So our staff is really pretty unaffected by it,” as per KABC News.