Health experts seeing rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - While many enjoy the holiday season with family, doctors want to make sure you’re taking precautions.
Doctors say roughly 15,000 people nationwide have been hospitalized for COVID-19 within the last month.
“We’re having more COVID than we had in the summer time: It’s about three-times more hospitalizations,” Doctor Bill Petri with UVA Health said.
Dr. Petri says the numbers tripling in three months is no surprise.
“Virginia Department of Health is seeing slight increases in respiratory illness trends,” Heather Harmon-Sloan with VDH said.
Health experts are recommending anyone who is eligible for a vaccination to get one.
“If you haven’t had COVID recently, if you haven’t had the booster in the last two, three months, I would go ahead and get it. I’ve gotten it myself,” Dr. Petri said.
Petri reminds everyone that getting the vaccine won’t completely prevent you from getting COVID-19, but it does help in the long run.
“If you’re under 75, you’re much less likely to have a severe infection with COVID-19,” Dr. Petri said. “We’re seeing these long-haul symptoms, long COVID at 12 months after COVID. We’re seeing 10-to-20% of people who are still having shortness of breath or fatigue, and so getting vaccinated may keep you out of that unfortunate 10-or-20% of people with long-haul symptoms.”
VDH says COVID-19 is not the only thing to be concerned about this season.
“We are seeing a slight increase in RSV that’s in particular to those under the age of five, and then we are also seeing an increase in influenza. Again, just a slight increase, much lower than what we saw at this time last year, but we do expect it to continue to increase,” Harmon-Sloan said.
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