The CDC has issued its strongest possible warning to public health professionals in response to the nationwide outbreak of respiratory infections, particularly among youngsters.
In a press conference with the media on Friday, Jose Romero, MD, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, “We suspect that many children are being exposed to some respiratory viruses now for the first time, having avoided these viruses during the height of the pandemic.” Non-COVID 19 respiratory viruses are currently circulating more frequently in the United States.
The alert also included information on rhinovirus and enterovirus in addition to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the flu. These infections cause neurological side effects, such as limb paralysis, and can exacerbate asthma symptoms.
Using the CDC’s Health Alert Network, the CDC formally issued the urgent public health alert on Friday to administrators of the healthcare system and medical professionals. Only the most urgent and critical health warnings are handled by this system.
Although models continue to predict a rise in COVID-19 infections, there hasn’t yet been a noticeable nationwide catastrophic increase. But some hotspots are starting to appear. Hospitalizations and cases of COVID-19 are slowly rising. According to a dashboard created by The New York Times, some states, including Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah, reported a 50% spike in cases over the previous two weeks.
A second kid has died as a result of RSV, according to the CDC.
Romero, an expert in paediatric infectious diseases, stated that “RSV activity continues to increase nationally, but differs regionally.” RSV is spreading across the country, with the exception of the Southeast and South Central.
The early record-breaking run of flu case counts and hospitalizations is still going strong.
The CDC reports that there have been 1.6 million lab-confirmed flu cases this season. According to ABC News, the number of flu diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths has risen in only one week.
According to the CDC’s weekly influenza bulletin, A(H3N2) is the predominant strain of influenza that is currently being reported across the United States. A(H3N2) influenza was detected in 20% of all respiratory specimens examined, which indicates that the flu is particularly bad in the Southeast.
The bulk of flu cases identified over the past week in a region of the Midwest that includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin were a distinct strain of the virus known as A. (H1N1).
To protect themselves and others, as well as to prevent hospitals from becoming overcrowded, health officials are urging the public to receive COVID-19 boosters and flu vaccinations.
The strongest line of defence against the prevention of influenza and COVID-19, according to Romero, is vaccination. “However, people should also take routine preventive measures like frequent hand washing or using alcohol gels, cough hygiene etiquette (covering your coughs and sneezes), and avoiding contact with sick people. Additionally, as a precaution, people may decide to put on a mask that fits properly.