The county, like the rest of California, is facing a viral triple whammy: the continuing spread of the coronavirus. Seasonal rise of influenza. and the spread of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a respiratory disease that can cause children to struggle to breathe.
County health officials warned over the weekend that the high prevalence of respiratory illness, specifically RSV, is severely impacting capacity at children’s hospitals in the area.
There is also concern that the coronavirus – which has been fairly quiet for weeks – may rise again in the fall and winter, as it has in each of the past two years.
“Although there is no vaccine against RSV, we want OC residents to know that there are many ways to protect children and individuals at risk,” Dr. The agency said the care in a statement Monday evening. “Following preventive measures, including staying up to date with other immunizations, such as influenza and COVID-19, can help reduce disease severity and can help reduce the burden on hospitals in the fall and winter.”
Chinseo-kwong also issued a declaration of a local emergency, which will allow access to state and federal resources to “remediate the situation and seek mutual assistance from surrounding provinces,” according to the statement.
“Our best bet to protect ourselves and our children from respiratory illnesses is the same things we’ve practiced throughout the pandemic, including using masks when you’re indoors around others and staying home when you’re sick,” she said.
County health officials said parents should seek immediate medical attention if their child is having trouble breathing, showing signs of dehydration, has a high temperature or a high temperature or appears very ill. Young children with acute respiratory illness should also be kept out of child care even if they test negative for COVID-19.
Respiratory syncytial virus affects many parts of the country particularly well, probably because transmission has been relatively latent for the past two years and there are many young children who have little immunity to the virus. Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, estimated last week that about 90% of children end up contracting RSV at least once when they are two years old. But “because of this pandemic, some standard types of patterns have been disrupted, so we see a lot of RSV at once,” he said.
The past two flu seasons have also been largely mild, which officials attribute in part to infection prevention measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the vast majority of these measures have been lifted, meaning residents must now make individual decisions about wearing a face mask or otherwise changing their behaviour.
Health officials are beginning to sound the alarm about the triple viral threat that California faces. They warn that the simultaneous increased spread of coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza is a dangerous combination that could further strain the state’s health care systems.
Los Angeles County officials note that both RSV and the flu are more active than usual at this time of year — a development that may portend some concern from a challenging season.
“As with influenza, we cannot predict whether this is an early peak or the start of a severe season. But we do know that RSV activity is unusually high at this time of year and calls for caution,” said Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County Public Health Director .
“The triple whammy of all three viruses circulating at the same time could strain an already overburdened medical system,” San Diego County health officials wrote in a statement late last week.
“Since we are seeing a sharp increase in influenza and RSV cases, I urge San Diegan to do their part to prevent the spread of disease,” said Dr. Wilma Wootten, the county public health officer. Although there is no vaccine for RSV, there are ample vaccines available against influenza and COVID-19.
Either way, Wooten noted, vaccines “take two weeks to become fully effective, so people should get both injections as soon as possible.”