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Kansas well being consultants control the COVID-19, flu and RSV trifecta as the vacation season approaches

Kansas well being consultants control the COVID-19, flu and RSV trifecta as the vacation season approaches

TOPEKA — Docs and well being researchers count on a spike in COVID-19 infections through the vacation months to complicate the medical response to the rising prevalence of influenza and the difficult flu virus.

The triple whammy of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) may result in an escalation of well being issues and hospitalizations this winter as precautions resembling vaccination, masking and isolation weaken in 2022. In the course of the winter of 2021-2022, Kansas skilled an outbreak of the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19.

“We’re simply holding our fingers crossed,” mentioned Dana Hawkinson, director of an infection management on the College of Kansas Well being System.

Hawkinson mentioned there’s a two- to four-week lag between being contaminated and being hospitalized for COVID-19, and urged Kansans to get vaccinated and step as much as shield themselves from probably the most harmful facets of the virus.

Because the outbreak of COVID-19 in Kansas in March 2020, the state has documented practically 900,000 circumstances. The true quantity is believed to be increased as a result of testing for the virus has fallen. Eighteen Kansas counties have reported greater than 10,000 circumstances of COVID-19, with 171,000 circumstances in Johnson County and 164,000 circumstances in Sedgwick County accounting for greater than one-third of the state whole.

The Kansas Division of Well being and Surroundings Newest Report confirmed that 9,657 deaths in Kansas have been linked to COVID-19 through the pandemic. The Kansas determine contains 2,613 deaths in 2022.

Dana Hawkinson, a physician at the University of Kansas Health System, said the onset of winter flu, combined with COVID-19 and severe flu, could put new pressure on hospitals, especially to care for people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. and flu.  .  (Kansas Reflector screenshot from the KU Health System YouTube channel)
Dana Hawkinson, a doctor on the College of Kansas Well being System, mentioned the flu season, mixed with COVID-19 and a posh flu virus, may make it tougher for hospitals to cope with the surge in sufferers. (Kansas Reflector screenshot from the KU Well being System Fb channel)

Dangers of re-infection

Nathan Barr, an assistant professor of infectious illnesses on the College of Kansas Medical Middle, mentioned there’s cause to be involved about analysis findings that present that people who find themselves repeatedly contaminated with COVID-19 are extra inclined to organ failure. He likened it to somebody who repeatedly injures their leg and finally ends up breaking it.

“The extra occasions this occurs, the larger the chance of lack of perform,” he mentioned.

Washington College in St. Louis mentioned an evaluation of medical data The 5.4 million Veterans Administration sufferers urged that individuals who contracted COVID-19 greater than as soon as have been twice as more likely to have a coronary heart assault in comparison with those that contracted the virus as soon as. As well as, the researchers mentioned the chance for kidney, lung and gastrointestinal well being was larger amongst those that have been contaminated a number of occasions.

Amber Schmittke, chair of the Division of Pure Sciences and Arithmetic at St. Mary’s College in Leavenworth, mentioned the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention ranked Kansas the second-highest out of 5 classes for flu circumstances that didn’t require hospitalization. Flu-like signs thought-about within the CDC evaluation included fever, cough and sore throat.

The CDC has ready a colour map which put Kansas within the “excessive” vary and Missouri within the “reasonable” vary for the flu. Flu-like signs are most prevalent in South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Virginia.

“The depth is so excessive this 12 months, particularly within the south, that the CDC had so as to add a brand new colour to the very excessive class,” Schmidtke mentioned on the KU Well being System broadcast.

She advisable that individuals get the flu shot and the COVID-19 booster. Nevertheless, there isn’t any vaccine for RSV in america.

Amber Schmittke, chair of the Department of Life Sciences at St. Mary's University in Leavenworth, said the CDC reports that Kansas has a high rate of flu-like symptoms among people who are not in the hospital, while Missouri has moderate rates of fever, cough and sore throat. throat  (Kansas Reflector screenshot from the KU Health System Facebook channel)
Amber Schmidtke of St. Mary’s College in Leavenworth mentioned the CDC reviews that Kansas has a excessive charge of flu-like signs amongst people who find themselves not hospitalized, whereas Missouri is within the mid-range. (Kansas Reflector screenshot from the KU Well being System Fb channel)

Purification of sewage water

Mark Johnson, a professor of microbiology on the College of Missouri and a researcher with Missouri’s wastewater therapy program to trace the altering nature of COVID-19, mentioned the flexibility to detect new strains of the virus has improved over the previous two years. The vacation season is an opportune time for the virus to unfold and develop amongst folks in a confined area, he mentioned.

“Final 12 months and the 12 months earlier than final, we began seeing pedigrees proper now. We began to see the numbers go up,” Johnson mentioned.

He mentioned the Delta surge and the emergence of Omicron produced a “robust winter.”

“Happily,” Johnson mentioned, “we’re getting a whole lot of new choices, and none of them do what Delta or Omicron did. With Delta, it was actually wonderful as a result of we may see her transferring across the state.”

When requested whether or not the heavy rain led to misguided conclusions in regards to the focus of COVID-19 within the sewage samples, Johnson mentioned that the answer was additionally to check for caffeine. The numbers are corresponding to the same old presence of the espresso part, he mentioned.

His associate within the COVID-19 analysis, Chung-Ho Lin of the College of Missouri Faculty of Agriculture, mentioned that wastewater is a vital useful resource for assessing group well being.

“Effluent by no means lies,” Lin mentioned. “Give us 15 milliliters of water and we’ll inform you plenty of tales.”


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