Emergency rooms are dealing with an increase in respiratory illnesses, flu and COVID

New York (WABC) – Emergency rooms are overwhelmed, and health officials have been seeing adults with flu and COVID and younger pediatric patients with RSV.

The annual winter flu season doesn’t usually start until December or January, but this year it started early and has been complicated by the spread of other viruses and still-persistent COVID.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 44 states reported high or very high flu activity last week.

The spread of the respiratory virus could be greatest during Thanksgiving gatherings and crowded airports, experts say.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 78,000 people have been hospitalized and 4,500 have died from the flu so far this season.

The deaths included at least 14 children.

The problem with flu and RSV, they said, is that those viruses put more constraints on emergency rooms than have other emergencies like heart attacks or strokes, which is why we have to work hard to control the spread.

Senator Schumer on Sunday called on the Human Services Administration to prepare to staff emergency rooms with the doctors and nurses they need.

“Our ER was nearly flooded. We booked our spot and were in the water, but we saw where we normally would see 200 kids day in and day out in 24 hours. Basically today we looked at Schumer 300 kids.”

As the upcoming holiday season approaches, health officials are asking you to exercise caution when entering homes and having gatherings.

If you get the flu shot now, you can get that protection before the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Read also | Police arrest a Manhattan street vendor and confiscate $10 million in counterfeit luxury goods


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