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ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) — With people gathering and socializing for the holidays, the number of people contracting viruses has increased.
“We’ve been seeing a lot, a lot of viral illnesses recently. There’s been covid that’s still hanging around, there’s RSV and influenza. RSV and flu are the one’s we’ve been seeing recently. A lot of people are coming in with multiple symptoms and those are the two big ones,” said Dr. Brendan Dempsey of St. Vincent Hospital.
With New Year’s Eve around the corner, it’s expected that the number will continue to rise. Fortunately, RSV and flu are both viruses the hospital is prepared to face.
“We’re always ready for the next virus to come along. The flu, influenza, RSV — they’ve been around for a while, and we’re used to handling it. They’re typically higher during these winter months, so we’re preparing for everything,” Dempsey said.
The Medical Director of UPMC Emergency Department, Dr. Chris Cammarata, described the increase in viral cases as expected and modest, but compared to the past few years, the cases are higher.
“We had not seen influenza of RSV almost at all during covid because of the masking and social distancing, so it did come back with a vengeance. The numbers certainly count for a pretty heavy season for both of them. Then you add covid into that — yes, it’s been busy,” Cammarata said.
Viruses aren’t the only concern for the medical community. Cammarata said that this year patients are suffering.
Since covid, a lot of people have missed vital routine check ups.
“We’re seeing a lot of late stage cancers, even presenting through the emergency department and we’re diagnosing them. . . Though it’s been very busy in the medical field, we would certainly encourage you to look past that and understand that your health is important,” Cammarata said.
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