ASHEVILLE, NC – February 7, 2024 – There was a surge of respiratory viral infections due to an increase in indoor gatherings and travel during the holidays; however, we are past the holiday season peak.
The COVID-19 metrics are on the CDC’s COVID Dashboard. For the week ending on January 27th
- Hospital admission levels are low in about 80% of the counties in North Carolina, including Buncombe County, and high in 0%. They are low in almost 90% of the counties in the U.S. and high in less than 1%. Admissions have decreased in the U.S. by more than 10%, decreased in North Carolina by about 5% and decreased in Buncombe County by 20% from the previous week.
- About 5% of the deaths in North Carolina were due to COVID, the 3rd highest level of 6 groups.
- Emergency room visits for COVID-19 are low in North Carolina. This represents about 2% of all ER visits and stable from the previous week.
Wastewater monitoring can be used to provide early warning for COVID outbreaks. The Buncombe & Henderson counties wastewater data for the week ending on January 24th is on the North Carolina COVID Dashboard.
- The number of viral gene copies in each water sample is at a red level representing the highest level of 5 groups, currently between the 80th and 100th percentile relative to the past level measured at the same site.
- The 15-day rate of change of the number of viral gene copies in each water sample has increased from the previous week, at 1% to 9%, the lowest level of 3 groups for a positive rate of change.
The CDC’s weekly flu surveillance report for the week ending on January 27th indicates that levels are either high or very high for most southern states from New Mexico to the East coast. North Carolina is at a high level.
The CDC reports that the 3-week average for the percent positivity for RSV PCR tests in North Carolina reached a peak of almost 15% around Thanksgiving. The most recent report for the week ending on January 27th shows that percent positivity continues to decrease to less than 4%.
The North Carolina Respiratory Virus Summary Dashboard for the week ending on January 27th shows that
- The percentage of emergency room visits for people with respiratory virus symptoms has decreased by 3%.
- Hospital admissions have decreased for COVID and the flu.
- There were more admissions for COVID than the flu.
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, email@example.com