Hospitals more full now than during pandemic... and it's not Covid trends now
Hospitals in the US are more full now than throughout the pandemic — and it's not because of Covid.
Official data shows that 80 percent of beds nationwide are currently occupied, a level not reached since the peak of the Covid surge in January 2022, when eight in 10 beds were also full, primarily due to the Omicron variant.
This time, however, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are driving the pressure on hospitals, with large portions beds filled by patients with the seasonal infections, according to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) data.
Covid restrictions largely sidelined those viruses for more than two years and robbed Americans of vital exposure to germs that strengthen their immune systems - making the fresh surges deadlier than usual.
Combined with Covid, the viruses have created a tripledemic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials even recommended Americans to mask up to prevent the spread of non-Covid illnesses earlier this week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 32,733 confirmed flu cases during the week that ended November 26, a new record for this virus season.
Earlier this week, CDC officials announced that there had been 9million confirmed flu cases, 7,800 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths caused by the annual virus.
This flu season is already the worst on record since the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic.
The CDC said there were 32,733 infections last week, up from only 8,911 the week before.
Hospitals mainly concentrated along the east and west coasts of the US are suffering the most, the HHS reports.
America's leading health officials are now recommending masking to prevent the spread of RSV and the flu this winter - not just Covid.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said during a briefing Monday, 'we also encourage you to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses', when discussing prevention measures for the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
It comes as nearly every state in America is recording 'very high' levels of flu as the US is slammed by a lockdown-fueled resurgence of respiratory viruses this fall. The CDC reports 9million flu infections and 4,500 deaths caused by the virus this flu season - with the worst expected to arrive in the coming weeks. Typical flu season runs from October to May each year.
Dr Sandra Fryhofer, a trustee at the American Medical Association, said during a CDC briefing Monday 'It's a perfect storm for a terrible holiday season.'
Experts have blamed the deadly flu outbreak on