The cases of influenza, COVID-19 and RSV are on the rise at St. Cloud Hospital. That according to CentraCare spokesman Dr. George Morris. He says the respiratory illness season is about about 2 months ahead of where it normally would be this time of year. Dr. Morris explains that they have hospitalized patients with influenza and COVID with some in the ICU/Critical Care unit. Because the amount of cases is going through a surge right now Dr. Morris says he’s concerned that the amount of sick people will increase more after people gather around the holidays.
Dr. Morris is encouraging people who haven’t received a flu and/or COVID shot to get one to prevent more of an outbreak of illness in the community. He says there appears to be reasons for this early rise in respiratory illnesses and that reason includes a lack of immunity due to 2 years of masking and social distancing due to the pandemic. He acknowledges that those precautions were necessary to save lives but the consequences have turned into a cycle of respiratory illnesses occurring at different times of year than what they had in the past. Morris says there have been many cases of RSV going back to the summer which didn’t only impact infants and young children but also older adults.
Dr. Morris explains the influenza levels we are expected to have now will likely equal the cases we had in 2019 but we are getting to these levels 2 months ahead.
If you’d like to learn more about flu, COVID and RSV listen to my full conversation with Dr. George Morris of CentraCare below.