Sick With COVID And The Flu: Double Infections Hit Hard

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Hospitals are experiencing an uptick in activity as more patients with both COVID-19 and flu are seeking treatment simultaneously. This dual illness scenario adds complexity to an already busy respiratory virus season, with Los Angeles County recently entering the “medium” COVID-19 hospitalization category designated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Daisy Dodd, an infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente Southern California, notes the presence of multiple viruses, including influenza, COVID-19, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), causing a viral cocktail that impacts various age groups.

Even younger and middle-aged adults are facing the challenges of battling both COVID-19 and flu simultaneously, leading to prolonged fevers and persistent symptoms. Dr. Dodd observes a widespread and persistent hacking cough among patients, making them considerably ill. The reasons behind the surge in viral co-infections this winter remain unclear, raising questions about how one virus might compromise immunity and facilitate the infection of another.

The surge in hospitalizations prompted local public health measures, with healthcare employees and visitors required to mask up in patient-care areas. As the CDC recommends high-quality masks for those at high risk, the situation highlights the seriousness of the ongoing respiratory virus season. Despite hospitalizations being lower than the previous winter peak, the state is witnessing an increase in infected individuals admitted to hospitals.

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The rising positivity rates for COVID-19 and flu in lab specimens indicate the prevalence of these viruses in the community. The state of California is urging the use of antiviral drugs, such as Paxlovid, which can reduce symptom severity and lower the risk of hospitalization and death when taken early in the illness. However, there is concern about the underuse of these therapeutic agents and the slow adoption of new COVID vaccines. Read more.

Source: Matzav

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