Kansas health professionals monitor the trifecta of COVID-19, flu and RSV as the holiday season approaches

TOPEKA – Doctors and public health researchers count on a rise in COVID-19 infections throughout the holiday months to complicate the medical response to outbreaks of the advanced flu and flu virus.

The trifecta of COVID-19, the flu, and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, may result in a rise in health issues and hospitalizations this winter as precautions such as vaccinations, masks and isolation are decreased in 2022. In the winter of 2021-2022, Kansas skilled a rise in the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19.

“We’re simply preserving our fingers crossed,” mentioned Dana Hawkinson, director of an infection management at the University of Kansas Health System.

Hawkinson mentioned there’s a two- to four-week lag between an infection and hospitalization for COVID-19, and urged Kansans to get vaccinated and defend themselves towards the most harmful facets of the virus.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kansas in March 2020, the state has documented almost 900,000 instances. The true quantity is believed to be increased as a result of testing for the virus has stopped. Eighteen Kansas counties have reported greater than 10,000 instances of COVID-19, with 171,000 in Johnson County and 164,000 in Sedgwick County, greater than a 3rd of the state.

A current report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environmental Protection reveals that 9,657 deaths in Kansas have been linked to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. The Kansas determine included 2,613 deaths in 2022.

Dana Hawkinson, MD, a doctor at the University of Kansas Health System, mentioned the flu season, mixed with the extra advanced COVID-19 and influenza viruses, may make it more durable for hospitals to deal with the surge in sufferers. (Screenshot from Kansas Reflector through KU Health System’s Facebook feed)

Risk of reinfection

Nathan Bahr, an affiliate professor of infectious ailments at the University of Kansas Medical Center, mentioned there may be cause to be involved about the findings, which present that individuals who have been contaminated a number of occasions with COVID-19 usually tend to expertise erosion of organ operate. He likened it to somebody who repeatedly injured his leg and finally broke it.

“The longer it’s, the extra seemingly you might be to lose operate,” he mentioned.

University of Washington St. An evaluation of the medical data of 5.4 million Veterans Administration sufferers recommended that individuals who have been contaminated with COVID-19 greater than as soon as are twice as more likely to have a coronary heart assault as those that have contracted the virus as soon as, Louis mentioned. In addition, health dangers for kidney, lung and gastrointestinal issues have been increased amongst those that had been contaminated greater than as soon as, the researchers mentioned.

According to Amber Schmidtke, professor of pure sciences and arithmetic at St. Mary’s University in Leavenworth, Kansas, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked Kansas in the second highest of 5 classes for the quantity of flu instances that didn’t require hospitalization. Flu-like signs included in the CDC evaluation have been fever, cough and sore throat.

The CDC launched a color-coded map that positioned Kansas in the “excessive” vary and Missouri in the “average” vary for the flu. South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia had the highest charges of flu-like signs.

“The depth is so excessive this yr, particularly in the South, that the CDC had so as to add a brand new coloration to the very excessive class,” Schmidtke mentioned in a KU Health System broadcast.

He suggested individuals to get a flu shot and a COVID-19 booster. However, there isn’t a vaccine for RSV in the United States.

Amber Schmidtke, chairwoman of the Department of Natural Sciences at St. Mary's University in Leavenworth, said the CDC reported that flu-like symptoms were high among non-hospitalized people in Kansas, while Missouri had moderate levels of fever, cough and sore throat symptoms.  .  (Screenshot from Kansas Reflector via KU Health System's Facebook feed)
Amber Schmidtke of St. Mary’s University in Leavenworth advised the CDC that flu-like signs are excessive in Kansas amongst people who find themselves not hospitalized, whereas Missouri is in the average vary. (Screenshot from Kansas Reflector through KU Health System’s Facebook feed)

sewage remedy

Mark Johnson, a professor of microbiology at the University of Missouri and a researcher in Missouri’s wastewater program, mentioned the means to detect rising strains of the virus has been refined over the previous two years. The holiday season is an opportune time for the virus to unfold and thrive with individuals in confined areas, he mentioned.

“Last yr and the yr earlier than that, we began seeing offspring. We’re beginning to see the numbers go up,” Johnson mentioned.

He mentioned the rise of Delta and the formation of Omicron was a “laborious winter”.

“Fortunately,” Johnson mentioned, “we’re getting quite a bit of new choices, and none of them do what Delta does or what Omicron does. With Delta, it has been actually superb as a result of we have seen it cross the state.”

When requested if the heavy rain had led to inaccurate conclusions about the focus of COVID-19 in the sewage samples, Johnson mentioned that the answer was to check for the presence of caffeine. The numbers are akin to the every day consumption of the espresso element, he mentioned.

His analysis associate in the COVID-19 trial, Chung-Ho Lin of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, mentioned wastewater is a vital useful resource for assessing public health.

“Effluents by no means lie,” Lin mentioned. “Give us 15 milliliters of water and we will inform you numerous of tales.”

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