Hospitals nationwide are preparing for a third winter with Covid — the first one that’s also expected to include high levels of influenza and other respiratory illnesses that have simmered quietly in the background for the past two years.
Flu cases are already rising in parts of the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pediatricians, too, are seeing a growing number of children sick with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and enteroviruses.
And despite a downward trend in COVIDtens of thousands of new cases are still being diagnosed every day. The convergence of viruses is hitting health care systems as they’re forced to reckon with staffing shortages that worsened during the pandemic.
Health care workers are quitting at rates 23% higher than when the pandemic began, mirroring a larger nationwide trend of workers leaving their jobs, according to Health System Trackera joint effort between the nonprofits Peterson Center on Healthcare and Kaiser Family Foundation to monitor how well the US health care system is performing.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new recommendations for flu shots for people 65 and older.