Larger virus admission bumps expected in January: 3 updates

With holiday gatherings wrapping up, experts anticipate further increases in hospitalizations for respiratory illnesses over the next few weeks.

More than 29,000 COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospitals for the week ending Dec. 23. In the same week, nearly 15,000 lab-confirmed flu patients were hospitalized, according to the latest data from the CDC. 

"Remember, all of these numbers are before people got together for the holidays," Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told CNN. "Don't be disappointed or surprised that we even see a bigger bump as we head into January." 

Three more updates to know: 

Emergency department visits for respiratory viruses remain high, with nearly 220,000 combined visits for COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus reported for the week ending Dec. 23. Flu accounted for the majority of those visits, while COVID remains the main driver of hospitalizations. 

RSV hospitalization rates remain high, particularly among children under 4, though there are signs trends may be slowing. The hospitalization rate fell from 23 per 100,000 among this age group in mid-December to 16.5 per 100,000 for the latest week. Rates among older adults also appear to be coming down. 

Hospitals may face significant capacity and resource strain in the coming weeks as measures of virus activity continue to tick up, officials say. The nation's healthcare system is already managing high volumes, with a weekly average of more than 76% of inpatient beds occupied as of Dec. 23. 


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars