Flu season is coming, and the influx of cases is expected to overwhelm hospitals and laboratories already stressed by the covid-19 pandemic, according to a reported from Wired.
“Coronavirus and influenza are going to compete for the same ER space, the same hospital beds, the same ICU beds, the same ventilators, the same personal protective equipment, the same staff,” says Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security who also works in several Pennsylvania hospitals as an infectious disease and critical care physician. “It’s going to be extremely difficult in terms of hospital surge planning and capacity.” We tend to underestimate the flu in the US. (There’s no better proof of that than the social media contention that Covid is “just like the flu,” which discounts the seriousness of both.) In a normal year, flu kills up to 60,000 people in the US and can put more than 800,000 in the hospital, as several US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers and director Robert Redfield wrote last month in The Journal of the American Medical Association. It’s routine, at the height of flu season, for emergency rooms to be so slammed that they refuse to accept ambulances and turn patients away. “This could be the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had,” Redfield warned recently in a video interview with WebMD.
Read more from Wired.