Emergency rooms dealing with a surge in respiratory illnesses, flu, and COVID

In Health

NEW YORK (WABC) — Emergency rooms are filling up at a quick pace and health officials have been seeing adults with both flu and COVID along with young pediatric patients with RSV.

The annual Winter flu season usually doesn’t start until December or January, but this year’s began early and has been complicated by the spread of other viruses and COVID is still lingering.

According to the CDC, 44 states have reported high or very high flu activity last week.

Experts say there was likely more spread of respiratory viruses during Thanksgiving gatherings and at crowded airports.

The CDC estimates there have been at least 78,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths from flu so far this season.

The deaths include at least 14 children.

They say the problem with the flu and RSV is that the viruses add more constraint to the emergency rooms that are experiencing other emergencies like heart attacks or strokes, hence why we have to be mindful about controlling transmission.

Senator Schumer is calling on the Department of Human Services on Sunday to be ready to provide emergency rooms with the doctors and nurses they need.

“Our emergency departments have been almost overwhelmed where we’re holding our own and we’re above water, but we’re seeing where we would typically see 200 children in a 24-hour period, day after day. We’ve basically been seeing 300 children today,” Schumer said.

With the upcoming holiday season, health officials are asking you to be cautious as you go indoors and have gatherings.

If you get your flu shot now, you can have that protection before the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

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