ASHEVILLE, NC – January 3, 2024 – COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections like influenza (the flu) and RSV can spread through holiday gatherings and travel. The flu and RSV have been around prior to the COVID pandemic. However, COVID has made us aware that we can take steps to reduce spreading these respiratory viruses when getting together during the holidays. Therefore, persons who are more susceptible to getting sick like older adults and the immunocompromised have become more cautious.
The COVID-19 metrics are on the CDC’s COVID Dashboard. For the week ending on December 23rd
- Hospital admission levels are low in 81 of 100 counties in North Carolina, including Buncombe County, and about 62% of the counties in the U.S. However, they have increased in North Carolina and increased in Buncombe County from the previous week.
- About 3.0% of the deaths in North Carolina were due to COVID, the 3rd lowest level of 6 groups and increased from last week.
- Emergency room visits for COVID-19 are low in North Carolina. This represents about 2.0% of all ER visits, the 2nd lowest of 5 levels and an increase from the previous week.
The CDC’s weekly flu surveillance report for the week ending on December 23rd indicate that levels are at high and very high levels for every southern state from California to the Southeast including North Carolina.
For the week ending on December 16th, the CDC reports the 3-week average for the percent positivity for RSV PCR tests in North Carolina has climbed to greater than 10% since November 11th.
Dr. Mandy Cohen, the CDC director, told Yahoo Life, if you are starting to feel sick with a cough, sore throat or fever: get tested, get treatment, and stay home.
Listen to the full report below:
Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org