November 6, 2022 – The CDC has issued its highest-level warning to public health officials regarding the surge of respiratory viruses, particularly among children, that is overwhelming some health systems across the country.
“We suspect that many children are now being exposed to some respiratory viruses for the first time, having avoided these viruses during the height of the pandemic,” said Jose Romero, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Diseases, said. a media call Friday. “Currently, the United States is experiencing a resurgence in the circulation of non-COVID 19 respiratory viruses.”
In addition to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza, the warning mentioned rhinovirus and enterovirus. These viruses can worsen asthma symptoms and sometimes have neurological effects, including limb weakness.
The CDC officially has the urgent public health alert Friday to health system officials and health care providers using the CDC’s Health Alert Network. This system is reserved for health alerts of the highest and most immediate importance.
Models continue to predict an increase in COVID-19 infections, but a nationwide dramatic increase has yet to appear. However, some hot spots emerge. Cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are increasing moderately. Some states such as Nevada, New Mexico and Utah have seen a 50% increase in cases in the past two weeks, according to a The New York Times dashboard.
The CDC reported that a second child died from RSV.
“RSV activity continues to increase nationally but varies regionally,” said Romero, who is a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases. RSV is increasing in all regions except the Southeast and South Central USA
The flu continues its record-breaking early streak of cases and hospitalizations.
Laboratory-confirmed flu cases have reached 1.6 million this season, according to the CDC. Flu cases, hospitalizations and deaths doubled in just one week, ABC News reports.
The strain of flu primarily reported in the U.S. is A(H3N2), according to the CDC’s weekly flu update. The flu hits the Southeast particularly hard, with 20% of all respiratory samples tested coming back positive for A(H3N2) flu.
In a portion of the Midwest that covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, most of the flu cases detected there in the past week were of a different type of flu called A(H1N1).
Health officials are asking the public to get flu shots and COVID-19 boosters to protect themselves and others and to prevent overcrowded hospitals.
“First and foremost, vaccination is the best defense in preventing influenza and COVID-19,” Romero said. “However, people should also practice everyday preventive measures, such as cough hygiene etiquette (that is, covering your coughs and sneezes), staying away from individuals who are sick, and frequent hand washing or alcohol gels. People can also choose to wear a well-fitting mask as an extra precaution.”