An early rise in cases of RSV, a virus that usually appears in the winter, on top of cases of coronavirus and other childhood illnesses, has led to a “severe increase in the number of patients” in pediatric emergency departments, and health officials and doctors in the United States. Illinois now have a new message for parents.
Plus, the top Chicago doctor discusses what she’s preparing for with the flu season coming up.
Here’s what you need to know about the Illinois coronavirus pandemic today:
‘Severe increase in patients’ in pediatric ED leads to warning from health officials
An early rise in cases of RSV, a virus that usually appears in the winter, on top of cases of coronavirus and other childhood illnesses, has led to a “severe increase in the number of patients” in pediatric emergency departments, and health officials and doctors in the United States. Illinois are now asking parents to call doctors about non-life-threatening illnesses before taking their children to the emergency room.
They say “emergency rooms are full of very long wait times,” the state’s top public health experts, in addition to hospital leaders and physicians, will hold a news conference Wednesday morning at Lurie Children’s Hospital to “urge families to contact their primary care physicians, doctors and nurses.” pediatrician or visit an immediate care center for non-life-threatening illnesses.”
“The COVID-19 outbreak remains well controlled in Chicago — we only take an average of one COVID hospital admission per day for people under 18 — but this increase in local emergency departments is alarming,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. in a statement. “While I encourage parents to continue to take all normal preventive measures to protect the health of their children, including getting vaccinated if eligible, they should only seek emergency care if their child is seriously ill. “
Experts say that in addition to the early RSV surge and coronavirus cases, emergency departments at local hospitals are seeing greater numbers of patients with a cold or another respiratory virus.
Watch their press conference live here.
Chicago health officials urge residents to get vaccinated as flu season approaches
After a historic flu season last year, Chicago public health officials say they are hopeful that steps residents are taking to protect themselves from COVID-19 can continue to be effective in keeping the seasonal virus at bay for another year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 2,038 cases of flu were reported by public health and clinical labs between September 2020 and April 2021, far fewer than the approximately 38 million cases reported in the previous year.
Public health experts attributed the massive drop in cases to a greater emphasis on hand washing, increased social distancing and mask wearing, all of which were the result of public health response to COVID-19. pandemic.
On Tuesday, Dr. Allison Arwady, the Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner, said that while she’s hopeful that these mitigating practices will continue this year, she’s still nervous about the coming flu season, especially with the delta variant still having elevated case levels in the city and state of Illinois.
COVID by the numbers: Coronavirus stats in each of Illinois’ 11 healthcare regions
An Illinois health region where all intensive care beds were filled with patients last week is making progress in reducing overall hospitalizations, but ICU availability remains low amid a persistent rise in COVID cases.
According to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Region 5, comprising 20 counties in the southern tip of Illinois, has two ICU beds available out of the 90 staffed beds in its hospital systems.
According to IDPH data, less than 5% of the ICU beds in the region were available in the past week.
However, the region sees good news in other areas, including the number of total COVID hospitalizations, which has declined or remained stable over the past nine days.
The latest data here.
Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer: what we know about booster shots so far
Johnson & Johnson released another update on the potential for a booster shot of its single-dose coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, but as booster shots continue to be debated nationwide, what’s next for all three COVID vaccines currently in the market? be administered to the US?
Pfizer, Moderna and J&J have each researched booster doses of their vaccines.
Scientists inside and outside the government have been divided in recent days about the need for boosters and who should get them.
This is what we know so far.
COVID Vaccine and Children: The Potential Schedule for Children Under 12
Pfizer’s latest announcement that its COVID-19 vaccine will work for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will soon seek US approval for this age group marked a significant step toward initiating youth vaccinations. But when could that happen?
dr. Bill Gruber, a senior vice president at Pfizer, told The Associated Press that the companies aim to file an application with the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in this age group by the end of the month, followed shortly by applications to the Food and Drug Administration. European and UK Regulators.
Earlier this month, FDA chief Dr. Peter Marks told the AP that once Pfizer handed over its research results, his agency would evaluate the data “hopefully within a few weeks” to decide whether the injections are safe and effective enough for younger children.
If the FDA approves, Halloween shots could be approved for the younger age group.
“I suspect that at this point we will have the Pfizer vaccine available to 5- to 11-year-olds in the same time frame we talked about — early November, possibly late October,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Tuesday. “The FDA has publicly said that they are putting a lot of extra resources into this to do this as quickly as possible. But let me be very clear: Everyone wants to see this data — the FDA, the CDC, [CDPH], public.”
Read more here.
Chicago Travel Advice in 48 States, 3 Territories, Some Spots Removed, Others Return
Chicago’s travel advisory has been updated again, and while there are still 48 states and three territories on the city’s warning list, the locations included have still changed.
That’s because Connecticut and the District of Columbia, both of which were removed from the advisory last week, are now back under the “orange category,” recommending that unvaccinated travelers from such locations test negative for COVID-19 and quarantine.
At the same time, however, California and Puerto Rico fell off.
Full details here.
moderna vs. Pfizer: Is One Vaccine Stronger Against Delta Variant?
Now that many can choose which COVID vaccine to receive, questions have risen about which one offers better protection against the now soaring delta variant.
Several studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of vaccines, but is one vaccine actually better than another?
According to medical experts, the three vaccines currently available in the US each offer protection.
Here’s a rundown of what we know so far about each vaccine.