Dec 12, 2022
Hospitals Around US Remain Overwhelmed With Flu Surge Transcript
Across the U.S., health officials are intensifying their preparations for a winter surge of the flu, COVID-19 and RSV as hospitals are overrun with respiratory cases. Read the transcript here.
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Gabe Gutierrez (00:00):
This morning after being slammed with RSV patients for months, ICUs are now battling the next phase of the triple-demic.
Dr. Tom Balcezak (00:07):
It’s becoming flus.
Gabe Gutierrez (00:08):
Dr. Tom Balcezak is the Chief Clinical Officer here at Yale New Haven Hospital. How filled is this ICU on any given day?
Dr. Tom Balcezak (00:15):
Gabe Gutierrez (00:16):
Dr. Tom Balcezak (00:17):
Gabe Gutierrez (00:17):
You’re at capacity?
Dr. Tom Balcezak (00:18):
We are at capacity.
Gabe Gutierrez (00:19):
The CDC now estimating that so far this flu season in the US there have been at least 13 million illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 7,300 deaths. The flu test positivity rate is about 25%. Last year at this time, it was less than 3%. What would you tell someone who looks at what’s happening and says, “Look, we have respiratory illnesses every winter.”
Dr. Tom Balcezak (00:42):
I’d say that this year’s different. This year’s different because the volume of cases we’re seeing is greater.
Gabe Gutierrez (00:47):
Across the country, public health officials are intensifying their preparations for a winter surge of the flu, COVID and RSV. New York City has now issued a health advisory strongly recommending, but not mandating indoor masking this winter. LA is asking for the same as COVID hospitalizations in California have soared 150% over the past month.
Valerie Primo (01:09):
You have a good nap.
Gabe Gutierrez (01:10):
In Reno, Nevada, Valerie Primo is grateful. Her two month old daughter, Emily, once seriously ill with RSV is back home from the ICU.
Valerie Primo (01:19):
That was when the thought of she might die across my head, it’s really scary, especially for the little ones.
Gabe Gutierrez (01:25):
Back in Connecticut, Jennifer Barna has been a registered nurse for 20 years and never seen this many respiratory illnesses colliding at once.
Jennifer Barna (01:35):
It’s hard for the staff, it’s hard for patients. It’s hard for families, so it’s just a tricky situation that we haven’t seen before.
Gabe Gutierrez (01:42):
The CDC says the flu hospitalization rate remains at its highest level in more than a decade. Peter and Kristen.
Kristen Welker (01:50):
Just so upsetting for families all across the country. Gabe, thank you for that.