WASHINGTON — Health officials pushed for more people to get vaccinated against COVID and influenza as hospital beds continue filling up nationwide, on Monday.
"This year's flu season is off to a rough start—flu's here, it started early and with COVID and RSV also circulating, it's a perfect storm for a terrible holiday season," Dr. Sandra Fryhofer, board chair of the American Medical Association, said during a CDC press conference.
CDC Director Walensky highlighted the jump.
"Flu hospital admissions reported through HHS's Hospital surveillance systems, which were already high for this time of year, nearly doubled during the last reporting period compared to the week prior," Walensky said. "Hospitalizations for flu continue to be the highest we have seen at this time of year in a decade, demonstrating the significantly earlier flu season we are experiencing."
Tragically, so far this flu season, 14 children have died after being infected with the flu.
Meanwhile, COVID and RSV hospitalizations are also rising.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are up 15-20% week over week, Walensky said. As for RSV, the director said they’re seeing more cases than normal for this time of year.
Our VERIFY researchers looked into what that looks like in the DC-metro region.
Ninety-one percent of Virginia hospitals, 88% of Maryland hospitals and 100% of D.C. hospitals report inpatient bed utilization data to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Here's how they compare:
- Maryland: 85% inpatient beds in use; 72% ICU beds in use
- Virginia: 73% inpatient beds in use; 69% ICU beds in use
- District of Columbia: 81% of inpatient beds in use; 73% of ICU beds in use
That's why agencies like the CDC are urging people not to forget the habits learned during the pandemic: cover your cough and sneeze, stay home when you're sick, wash your hands, wear a mask and get vaccinated.