RSV is on the decline, but influenza is on the rise in Georgia

“There is presently a resurgence of non-COVID-19 respiratory viruses in the United States,” stated Dr. Jose R. Romero, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, stated in a media telebriefing on Friday. He famous a rise in influenza; RSV, a standard higher respiratory illness amongst youngsters below 5 years of age; and rhinoviruses, the commonest reason behind influenza.

“However, it is vital to notice that COVID-19 is not gone.”

The overwhelming majority of youngsters admitted to the intensive care unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are for respiratory viruses, a spokeswoman stated. Influenza-related hospitalizations are the driving power behind the present onslaught.

RSV, which happens in infants and younger youngsters in August, September and October, has slowed in latest weeks. At Children’s Hospital, the variety of youngsters admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 is one-third.

Dr. Andy Shane, MD, director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Emory University in Atlanta, stated the majority of youngsters hospitalized for the flu are usually not vaccinated. The CDC recommends that youngsters 6 months and older get a flu shot by the finish of October every year, but the company stresses that getting the vaccine later is higher than not getting it in any respect. The flu vaccine prevents an infection, and amongst those that nonetheless get the flu, vaccination reduces the severity of the sickness.

CDC knowledge present that flu vaccine protection amongst all youngsters this 12 months was 24.8%, in comparison with 25.2% final 12 months.

Last month, Children’s Health Services of Atlanta stated they had been seeing an “unacceptable” variety of sick youngsters, forcing them to increase their emergency room with a tent over the parking zone. The hospital additionally encourages non-pediatric emergency rooms to take care of some youngsters, notably older youngsters, reasonably than turning them over to Children’s, the spokeswoman stated.

A hospital spokeswoman declined to offer particular numbers, but stated the enhance was two to 3 occasions the regular quantity of sufferers.

As of Friday afternoon, emergency room wait occasions in any respect Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hospitals had been greater than three hours, in response to the hospital system’s web site.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals stayed house and wore masks, and flu and RSV instances fell to historic lows. Many individuals, particularly younger youngsters, haven’t developed immunity as a result of they haven’t been uncovered to viruses. Now, as COVID precautions are being relaxed, these illnesses are on the rise once more.

There is no vaccine in opposition to RSV, and by age 2, nearly all youngsters are contaminated with the virus. Symptoms are sometimes flu-like and will embrace a runny nostril, congestion, and fever. But in some instances, RSV can turn into harmful, particularly amongst infants, inflicting problems reminiscent of respiration and pneumonia.

At the similar time, the flu, which began unusually early and violently this fall, is on the rise.

According to the newest CDC flu exercise map, Georgia is one in every of 9 states in the nation, together with Washington, with “extraordinarily excessive” flu exercise..

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, throughout the week ending in October, 6% of sufferers visited medical doctors with a chilly or flu-like sickness. 22, in response to the final week, which numbers can be found. This is 5.9% greater than final week. In metro Atlanta, 105 individuals had been hospitalized with the flu. 22, and to date this season, two adults have died because of the flu in Georgia, in response to DPH.

AJC information reporter Stephanie Lamm contributed to this text.

On the variety of influenza in Georgia

6% is the estimated share of sufferers who see a health care provider for the flu or flu-like sickness.

105 – Number of flu-related hospitalizations in metro Atlanta

2 – the variety of deaths from the flu in the state to date

Source: Georgia Department of Public Health and primarily based on the most up-to-date monitoring for the week ending October 10. 22.

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