Schumer Puts Health Dept on Alert as Respiratory Infections Increase in NY - The Jewish Voice
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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Schumer Puts Health Dept on Alert as Respiratory Infections Increase in NY

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By:  Daniella Doria

The US Department of Health and Human Services should be prepared to send doctors, nurses and medical staff to New York amid a surge in respiratory syntactical virus infections, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

While the Big Apple reported a slight decline in RSV cases on Nov. 19, the rate of known infections has more than doubled since October, according to the most recently available data.

The New York Post reports that New York State leaders are seeking to get aid from the federal government, the same way they helped us during the early months of the Covid crisis.

To combat the rise in cases in the city and on Long Island, Schumer called on HHS to help increase the number of medical personnel in New York — either by sending in government workers or by easing rules to allow more professionals from other states to come assist.

“I’m calling on the US Department of Health and Human Services to be at the ready to take immediate action for New York City and Long Island hospitals get the needed support to take this wave head on, and keep our kids safe,” Schumer said during a press conference in Manhattan. “It’s a simple 10 little letters. “I’m telling HHS to address RSV ASAP!”

Overall RSV admissions among children are up 49% this year compared to 2021, Schumer told The New York Post.

“I’ve been practicing for 40 years. We have never seen an RSV surge like we are having over these past few weeks,” said Dr. Charles Schleien, Chair of Pediatric Services at Northwell Health, who appeared alongside Schumer on Sunday.

“Our emergency departments have been almost overwhelmed,” Schleien said at the press conference.

According to Wikipedia, RSV is the single most common cause of respiratory hospitalization in infants, and reinfection remains common in later life: it is an important pathogen in all age groups. Infection rates are typically higher during the cold winter months, causing bronchiolitis in infants, common colds in adults, and more serious respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia in the elderly and immunocompromised.

RSV can cause outbreaks both in the community and in hospital settings. Following initial infection via the eyes or nose, the virus infects the epithelial cells of the upper and lower airway, causing inflammation, cell damage, and airway obstruction.

A variety of methods are available for viral detection and diagnosis of RSV including antigen testing, molecular testing, and viral culture. The main prevention measures include hand-washing and avoiding close contact with infected individuals; prophylactic use of palivizumab is also available to prevent RSV infection in high-risk infants. Currently, there is no vaccine against RSV, although many are under development.

Treatment for severe illness is primarily supportive, including oxygen therapy and more advanced breathing support with CPAP or nasal high flow oxygen, as required. In cases of severe respiratory failure, intubation and mechanical ventilation may be required. Ribavirin is the only antiviral medication currently licensed for the treatment of RSV in children, although its use remains controversial.

While the media and Biden administration is hushed on the cause of  recent explosion of flu and RSV cases, many experts are pointing to the COVID vaccine as the culprit. America is experiencing near record amounts of influenza cases, almost 9 million this year and close to 5000 deaths. Objective doctors, who are not on the payroll of Pfizer and Moderna are hypothesizing that the mRNA vaccine is damaging many people’s immune systems.

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