FAIRMONT — COVID-19 and different respiratory ailments nonetheless pose a menace to West Virginia.
COVID-19, Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus are the three respiratory diseases Marion County Well being Division Government Director Lloyd White mentioned will most have an effect on residents in Marion County throughout winter.
Dr. Michael Stevens, system well being care epidemiologist for WVU Well being System agreed, including that North Central West Virginian will possible expertise larger COVID-19 exercise within the coming weeks, because of rising circumstances in bigger cities across the northeast U.S. similar to New York Metropolis.
These respiratory ailments are at the moment affecting different cities round america and Europe.
“Influenza is raging; the exercise is absolutely very excessive proper now. Regionally we’re seeing very excessive charges. We’re seeing the very best ranges of hospitalization charges right now of yr that we’ve seen in over a decade. … The RSV exercise is absolutely excessive as nicely. It’s actually stretching the capability of hospitals to maintain youngsters, all although that exercise is beginning to go down. However, Influenza and Covid-19 are on the rise,” Stevens mentioned.
Research on the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention discovered that RSV could cause extra extreme infections similar to bronchiolitis and pneumonia. RSV “is the most typical explanation for bronchiolitis and pneumonia in youngsters youthful than 1 yr of age.”
In accordance with the West Virginia Division of Human Sources, there are 37 energetic COVID-19 circumstances in Marion County and 833 energetic circumstances statewide, as of Dec. 7.
“We’re nonetheless seeing various circumstances, extra so than I’m snug with,” White mentioned.
However, White defined that it’s tough to know for sure what number of energetic COVID-19 circumstances there are with at-home testing and no mandate for reporting at house constructive circumstances to the well being division. Well being departments solely obtain lab check outcomes.
“The difficulty is that we actually don’t know what number of circumstances we now have locally, because of reporting. Once we modified the testing protocol on June 1, solely lab confirmed circumstances get reported to the state. So, if somebody takes an at-home check equipment and it’s constructive they usually could even do the precise issues, which is isolate for 5 days, however it’s not reported to anyone. So we don’t actually have a transparent image of the particular variety of circumstances. We’ve lab confirmed circumstances, however past that, we’re actually undecided,” White mentioned.
White mentioned this may very well be improved and recommends reporting at-home constructive COVID-19 circumstances to the state division or the well being division.
Stevens mentioned that neighborhood members 65 years outdated and older and other people with underlying well being circumstances are nonetheless essentially the most affected and extra prone to hospitalization, air flow and even demise. However with vaccinations, there was a drop off of circumstances in these demographics, White mentioned.
“As a result of the vaccination charges in these specific populations have been exceptionally good, we’re not seeing as many circumstances and hospitalizations. I attribute that to the effectiveness of the vaccination,” White mentioned.
White and Stevens suggest residents get the COVID-19 vaccine, keep away from crowded areas, observe good cough and sneeze etiquette and preserve a correct eating regimen that can enable the immune system to remain wholesome and keep away from illness. He added that it’s nonetheless OK to put on a masks when venturing out. He recommends getting a booster shot six months after receiving the second COVID-19 vaccine. Anybody above six months outdated is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“So, if we proceed to do these issues, we’ll see case numbers decline. Hopefully we’ll see hospitalization numbers decline and the variety of deaths decline as nicely,” White mentioned.
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