By Kalvin Yu, MD, FIDSA, Vice President of U.S. Medical Affairs and Vikas Gupta, Pharm.D., Director of Medical Affairs
In our ninth weekly snapshot of viral infections across the U.S, we present data through late January. Since our last blog post, the hospital discharge rate for all three respiratory viruses, COVID-19,flu, and RSV, have declined. While COVID-19 is still circulating and now relatively stable, both flu and RSV declined far below their 2022-2023 respiratory season peaks.
This data adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that the “tripledemic” threat materialized very early in the season and will likely not continue as we head deeper into the winter months. At its November peak, the combination of high rates of COVID-19, flu and RSV added to pandemic-induced clinician burnout and stretched healthcare capacity. Given that the imminent threat to our healthcare system has receded, we will be halting our weekly snapshots. We will continue to keep a close eye on hospital discharges for these respiratory viruses and in the event of a late winter surge, we will report our findings.
Here is what our discharge data show through January 28, 2023:
Hospital discharges for COVID-19 are at 3.94/100 hospital discharges (compared to 5.9/100 hospital discharges in our last blog post). We are now below the discharge rate that the U.S. experienced during the peak of Omicron B.5 wave last summer (6.0/100 hospital discharges in our data for the week ending July 31, 2022).
The hospital discharge rate for flu experienced yet another rapid reduction this week (0.35/100 hospital discharges compared to 1.1/100 hospital discharges in our last blog post and a peak of 3.65 hospital discharges for the week ending December 3, 2022). This aligns with findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noting that seasonal flu activity continues to decline across the country, as clinical lab tests are being reported at 3.0 percent positivity rates through January 21, 2023.
The RSV hospital discharge rate is largely parallel to that of flu and is currently at 0.32/100 hospital discharges (compared to 0.5/100 hospital discharges in our last blog post and a peak of 1.07/100 hospital discharges for the week ending November 19, 2022).
About BD Infectious Disease Insights
Emerging infectious diseases have been increasing in frequency during the past few decades. None have assessed the U.S. health care system’s capacity or resiliency like COVID-19 – forever changing the way that we think about future outbreaks and how we manage the related unintended consequences. The BD Infectious Disease Insights series investigates today’s most prominent infectious disease trends. The series leverages the depth and breadth of our data to serve as an ongoing bellwether on the state of infectious diseases in the U.S., backed by clinical insights on how to increase overall awareness and preparedness
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