Respiratory Viruses on the Rise in California, but Fewer Hospitalizations than Last Year

COVID and Influenza Hospitalizations on the Rise after Thanksgiving, Though Lower than Last Year

California, December 7, 2021 – As the holiday season approaches, the surge in COVID and influenza hospitalizations has become a growing concern. However, the good news is that the numbers remain lower compared to the same period last year.

In response to the increasing respiratory virus activity, California has introduced a new dashboard that tracks COVID and influenza side-by-side. The aim is to closely monitor the trends and provide a clearer picture of the situation. Experts believe this will enable healthcare providers to make more informed decisions regarding resource allocation and public health strategies.

Although hospitalizations for both COVID and influenza are climbing, COVID still remains the primary cause of new hospital admissions and deaths nationwide. Dr. Peter Chin-Hong emphasizes the urgency of addressing the COVID crisis, given its significant impact on public health.

Interestingly, while hospitalizations for COVID are on par with last year’s figures, influenza-related hospitalizations are relatively low compared to late November 2020. This discrepancy raises concerns about the potential rise in COVID hospitalizations due to the lack of vaccine uptake.

The Association of Bay Area Health Officials is urging individuals to take extra precautions as respiratory viruses continue to circulate and people spend more time indoors during the holiday season. These officials stress the importance of following preventive measures to curb the spread of both COVID and influenza.

In line with this, vaccines for COVID, influenza, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are readily available and strongly recommended. Recently, the FDA granted approval for the first RSV vaccine, specifically for adults aged 60 and older and pregnant women. This development offers new hope in protecting vulnerable populations against this respiratory virus.

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Health experts reiterate that it is never too late to get vaccinated and take preventive measures to safeguard oneself and loved ones. By proactively seeking vaccination and adhering to recommended guidelines, individuals can significantly lower the risk of contracting respiratory viruses during this holiday season.

With COVID and influenza hospitalizations trending upward, the collective efforts of the public, healthcare professionals, and policymakers are crucial in mitigating the impact of these respiratory viruses. By staying informed, taking preventive actions, and encouraging vaccine uptake, we can make a collective difference in keeping our communities safe.

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About the Author: Jeremy Smith

"Infuriatingly humble bacon aficionado. Problem solver. Beer advocate. Devoted pop culture nerd."

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