NEW YORK –
Influenza is on the rise as respiratory syncytial virus infections that affect children and the elderly may increase in the United States, health officials reported on Friday.
However, COVID-19 continues to cause the most hospitalizations and deaths among respiratory diseases, with about 15,000 hospitalizations and about 1,000 deaths per week, said Dr. Mandy Cohen, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. of Diseases (CDC).
The agency is also investigating reports of pneumonia outbreaks in children in the two states, but Cohen said there is “no evidence” that they are due to anything unusual.
As with flu season, seven states reported high levels of illness with flu-like symptoms in early November. In a new CDC report released Friday, the agency said there were cases in 11 states, mostly in the south and southwest of the country.
In the past month, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections have skyrocketed in some parts of the country, nearly filling hospital emergency rooms in Georgia, Texas and elsewhere. But “we believe we are nearing the peak of the RSV season or the next week or so,” Cohen said.
RSV usually causes flu-like symptoms, but can be dangerous for infants and the elderly.
Cohen was asked about cases of pneumonia in children reported in Massachusetts and Warren County, Ohio, near Cincinnati. There are several possible causes of lung infection, and it can be a complication of COVID-19, influenza, or RSV.
In Ohio, health officials have reported 145 cases since August and most of the children have recovered at home. The illnesses are caused by a variety of common viruses and bacteria, according to officials.
Meanwhile, health officials in Massachusetts said there has been a slight increase in pneumonia in children, but it is seasonal.
China has recently reported an increase in respiratory illnesses, which health officials have attributed to the flu and other normal causes.