Influenza and Covid-19 cases on the rise in most of the US

There is growing concern that an increase in Omicron cases, combined with escalating Delta cases and a surge in flu cases, could overwhelm health systems this winter, as well as potentially damaging health systems. could lead to a need to ramp up testing capacity for Covid-19, Lori Tremmel Freeman, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), told CNN Wednesday.

“It’s a combination. It’s a perfect storm of public health impact here with Delta already affecting many parts of the country and jurisdictions,” Freeman said. “We don’t want to overwhelm the systems more.”

“We knew the flu would come back and have started to reappear in many parts of the United States,” Patel said.

Now, health officials and doctors are bracing for more illnesses this winter.

‘We’re getting ready which makes sense’

The country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, and health officials worry about adding flu patients to this burden.

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“Being prepared and staying vigilant for the flu is very important to us,” says Patel.

He added that the course of the flu is unpredictable.

“Last year or last season – really, for the last 18 months – we had no flu activity in the United States and minimal activity globally in the Southern or Northern Hemisphere. And this really didn’t. happened before since we” said Patel. “The jury is still out on why that didn’t happen.”

According to the CDC, during the first week of December, 841 people were hospitalized in US hospitals with the flu. This number is up from last week, when there were 496 new hospital admissions.

Flu pandemic could be worse than Covid-19 ever, says the National Academy of Medicine
“Overall, influenza activity remains low; however, an increasing number of positive influenza tests have been reported by clinical and public health laboratories in recent weeks,” said Dr. CDC says in its weekly flu report. The majority of influenza viruses are detected in young people, ages 5 to 24, but flu virus detection rates among adults 25 years of age and older have increased in recent weeks.
At the end of November, CDC reports increased flu activity has been detected in young adults and college students, which could mean the start of a new flu season. The agency also noted that because the flu and the virus that causes Covid-19 both circulate, the combination could put a strain on health care systems across the United States.

Worried about a winter wave

Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday night, “We’re in the midst of a Delta spike.

“The cases are going up. We have an average of about 117,000. The hospitalization rate has gone up. The death toll is still over a thousand,” Fauci said. “Then, looking over your shoulder, the Omicron variant, which we know, from what’s going on in South Africa and in the UK, is a highly transmissible virus.

“That’s why we’re encouraging people, if they haven’t been vaccinated, to get vaccinated, but it’s important for people who are fully vaccinated to get a booster shot.”

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the US has an average of 119,888 new Covid-19 infections every day. This is about 50% higher than a month ago.

According to the JHU, the US currently has an average of 1,261 deaths per day. This is 5% higher than a month ago.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently 67,306 people hospitalized with Covid-19. Hospitalization rates have been on an upward trend for more than two months and are 43% higher than they were a month ago.

This January, the United States may face a surge in Covid-19 cases, with the Omicron variant likely contributing to the winter wave, according to modeling data presented to health officials. state and local health officials in a call with the CDC on Tuesday.

But that’s just one possible scenario.

The CDC told CNN in a written statement Tuesday that the agency “regularly discusses planning scenarios with public health officials across the country” and Tuesday’s discussion ” as part of a regularly scheduled meeting led by the CDC COVID-19 meeting with the leaders of four public health organizations.”

The statement noted that the CDC is “preparing for a range of scenarios” related to the Omicron variant, and that part of Tuesday’s meeting was devoted to “discussing results from the various modeling teams involved.” to Omicron” – but no CDC, Department of Health and Human Services, or US government models were presented.

Omicron is spreading rapidly.  That's alarming even if it's mild

The modeling information, along with data from Europe, indicates that the number of Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant is likely to double every two days, NACCHO’s Freeman told CNN.

“When you think about this virus potentially doubling every two days, in a few weeks we’re going to be dealing with a lot of cases,” said Freeman, who was on Tuesday’s call. Omicron contamination”.

“That model implies that by January we will be at another stage of recognizing Omicron, possibly even as a dominant virus. However, we are still learning about the severity of the problem. , transmissibility,” Freeman said. “Data is coming in from all over the world.”

The rate of Omicron cases in the United States is expected to “continue to increase in the coming weeks,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. virtual White House press conference Wednesday. She added that early data shows that Omicron is more contagious than Delta, with a doubling time of about two days.
While the Delta variant continues to cause the most Covid-19 cases in the US, Omicron has fallen from 0.4% of cases for the week ending December 4 to 2.9% of cases for the week. ends December 11, according to CDC data.

Currently, CDC data indicates that Delta causes 96.8% of cases.

‘We’re definitely seeing an increase in both infections’

Christina Johns, a pediatrician in Annapolis, Maryland, told CNN last week that there has been a “slow but steady” increase in the number of patients who have tested positive for the flu and Covid-19 over the past week. her pediatric network in recent weeks.

Yes, you can have Covid-19 and the flu at the same time.  Here's what that might look like

“We definitely saw an increase in both infections during the week,” said Johns, emergency physician and senior medical advisor for PM Pediatrics, which has more than 70 pediatric offices across the US. before.

“We started to see a slow and steady increase in cases,” she said. And why is that? Well, because this is the time of year we usually start to see flu outbreaks start circulating,” she said. “But why aren’t we seeing an explosive increase? One reason is that school-age children are still mostly wearing masks in many school districts, and so I think that will help reduce it.” quantity. Overall protective measures are still in place in many areas that are effective against both Covid as well as influenza.”

This winter, Johns said, there is concern about the potential for a “duplicate” of Covid-19 and the flu, and it’s important that people with any respiratory symptoms this season come to the hospital. doctor immediately for examination.

She said when young people – up to age 26 – come into her office with symptoms, such as a cough, fever or runny nose, the only way to determine if they have the flu, Covid-19 or a cold. Conventional refrigeration is through testing.

“I think that’s an important point that needs to be made, especially right now while we’re still in the midst of this pandemic,” Johns said.

“It’s very difficult to tell the difference without testing. There are some trends. Typically with the flu the clinical sign is a high fever, and that’s less common in the common cold and not always. is characteristic of Covid-19 infection”. Johns said. “But none of those things are 100%, and there’s enough overlap in all three of these, really, the only way to tell the difference is through testing.”


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