With Chicago-area hospitals filling up for the Thanksgiving holiday and many respiratory virus cases on the rise, it’s important for health professionals to think a few things before they gather this week. be.
Hospitals have already reported that intensive care unit beds have fallen into single digits and pediatric hospitalization rates are a concern. Some health experts are concerned that the post-Thanksgiving surge could make the situation even worse.
“It’s still November, but RSV is already raging. And there are other less newsworthy viruses that are surging right now just because it’s respiratory virus season.” Chicago Public Sanitation Bureau. “If you see a big spike, you’ll definitely see a flu and COVID spike. Plus, there’s a potential shortage of adequate hospital capacity, especially for children.”
So what should you think about if you are planning to get together this week?
“If you’re not feeling well, you know first and foremost to stay home,” Karen Ayala, executive director of the DuPage County Health Department, told NBC Chicago. You don’t have to know if it’s a respiratory illness, especially if you don’t feel well today, you probably don’t feel well on Thursday, and even if you do feel better, you probably still have symptoms Being able to make that decision early on and share it with potential hosts and potential visitors is very important.”
While COVID testing remains important to prevent the spread of COVID, it will not help stop the spread of RSV or the flu.
Dr. Carly Senescu, pediatric hospitalist at Edward Elmhurst Health, said: “So if a child is coughing, it’s contagious. A child blowing his nose, licking a toy, or sharing it with someone is all contagious. “It’s not as structured as it is with COVID. So I think it’s the same thing. Stay home when you’re sick. You have symptoms.” Please wear a mask if you can.”
Health officials are also urging people to get both the flu and a bivalent COVID booster shot.
Experts say there are several measures to make gatherings safer.
“If you’re concerned, especially if you have young children and are worried about RSV, be sure to wash your hands,” Arwady said. If you have symptoms, please wear a mask….whether it is COVID or not is to keep the germs to yourself..but also for the kids to stay home if they are really not feeling well The number one rule is to stay home when you’re sick. It limits the risk of not only COVID, but all other respiratory viruses.
Ventilation was also a great advice from Ayala.
“Ventilation and airflow is something we discovered over the last three years. [being] Highly effective in reducing or increasing the risk of disease transmission [and] respiratory viral infection. If you can go somewhere, open windows and doors, go outside and have a conversation, [you should]Luckily, it looks like we’re going to have pretty mild weather this weekend,” Ayala said.
Experts also urge parents to protect those at particularly high risk of viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus and influenza, especially young children.
“What we’re going to see is that people are probably more attuned to making sure it’s appropriate if their company or a visitor is coughing a lot. Keep your visit short.If you have a newborn baby in your home, you may ask people to wear a mask.Do not pick up your baby or kiss your baby’s face.
The DuPage County Department of Health revealed on Tuesday that there were days when there were no beds available for critically ill children.
“Hospitals and clinics are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of people with respiratory illnesses such as influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19,” said DuPage County. The Department of Health said in a statement Tuesday. “Children are particularly affected. Severely ill children are seeking treatment in hospitals and are experiencing wait times. They will be transferred to another medical facility.” Some kids need to.”
The county fears the situation will only get worse after the holidays.
“RSV is not a new virus. Flu is not a new virus either. But we’ve seen both earlier cases and more serious cases,” Ayala told NBC Chicago. “And yes, we’re worried…because we’re going to be getting together and spending more time indoors than outdoors. It’s all going to get worse before this gets better.” It leads to concern that
At the same time, Advocate Aurora Health said of all its facilities: Implemented “Visitor Restriction Policy” They are working to “reduce the spread of COVID, flu and other seasonal diseases.”
A hospital spokesperson told NBC Chicago that the move was “due to a significant increase in flu activity.”
Park Ridge’s Advocate Children’s Hospital is one of many regional pediatric hospitals dealing with unprecedented demand.
“I have never seen pediatric care like this in my practice or career,” said Dr. John Howard, the site director of the pediatric emergency room. told NBC Chicago on Tuesday.
Emergency room wait times can be as long as 10 hours. Advocate Children’s also opened a new “Fast Track” area on November 7th. This accommodates patients with poor vision who may be able to go home the same day.
“Part of the waiting room was repurposed to make room for where there were no patient beds,” Howard said.
as of friday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Seasonal influenza activity is rising nationwide,” with high levels reported in Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Public Health told NBC Chicago on Tuesday that pediatric ICU bed availability has dropped to just 5 percent statewide.
“We are overwhelmed with RSV cases, probably about three to five times the number of normal cases,” said Dr. Lamar Hasbrook, chief operating officer of the Cook County Public Health Department.
But flu cases are also surging in many hospitals, and some experts believe the current flu strain is hitting children and the elderly more than previous strains.
According to IDPH, H3 is currently the most prevalent strain of influenza in the state, with H3N2 being found in some cases. Similar trends have been reported nationwide.
Dr. Jose Romero, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said: reportedly This strain has historically been associated with more severe flu seasons in children and the elderly.