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29,000 hospitalized with COVID-19 the week before Christmas

The CDC's latest data shows that as of Dec. 29, respiratory illness activity was high or very high in two-thirds of the United States.
29,000 hospitalized with COVID-19 the week before Christmas
Posted at 5:18 PM, Jan 03, 2024

Sara Fryman recently got COVID-19 for a second time. She joined thousands of others in the surge of respiratory cases across the country, including COVID-19, the flu and RSV. The bugs are more common this time of year.

"As we enter the winter months, people are spending more time indoors and we tend to see an increase in respiratory infections," said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, director of the Dept. of Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention at WHO.

The CDC's latest data shows that as of Dec. 29, respiratory illness activity was high or very high in two-thirds of the United States, stretching from New Hampshire to Washington state. Holiday travel is also a factor in the spread.

"What happens in Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's is that when people get together, you mix the risk from one part of the country to the next," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco.

Vaccines can keep someone who is sick from getting a severe case or dying. But CDC data shows only about 40% of adults and children have gotten this year's flu shot. Less than 20% have gotten the latest COVID-19 vaccine. Experts say it's still not too late to get vaccinated and to watch out for symptoms like fever, cold and cough.

If you do get sick, they say to stay home and call a doctor in case there's medicine that could speed your recovery.

SEE MORE: Medical breakthroughs and trends you'll hear about in 2024


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