ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) — People may be sharing a meal for the holidays with family and friends, but they could be spreading germs too, which adds a burden to already busy hospitals.
Dr. Courtney Sampson, the Hospitalist Program Director AHN Saint Vincent explained what’s been keeping them busy. “The flu this year has been really bad. The patients become ill really quickly, they are having sore throats, some people have GI, some diarrhea, vomiting, and then lots of cough and need for oxygen. Patients have been very ill and in the hospital with flu”, said Dr. Sampson.
Doctors at AHN Saint Vincent have been treating patients with Covid, the flu and RSV over the last several months, but this year’s flu season has kept doctors busy.
“It’s typical to have a flu season, we have been fortunate enough to not really have a flu season the last two winters, but this is the first time we have significant flu and Covid patient population, so that’s been challenging”, said Dr. Sampson.
Although they’re still treating Covid patients, thanks to vaccines and boosters, the flu is the bigger concern.
Doctors aren’t just worried about their patients but their own staffs too. As Dr. Sampson explained, “We are not immune to these things either, so our staff can certainly become ill and influenza is a long illness and people are sick for a good week or so and it has a big impact on the work force.”
Dr. Sampson said the biggest things you can do to prevent yourself from ending up in the hospital are washing your hands, getting vaccinated, wearing a mask if you are sick and if you don’t feel well, stay home.