What’s Going Around: Respiratory infections

Doctors say respiratory infections continue to keep hospitals and clinics busy in Arkansas.
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 8:24 AM CST
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Harrison, AR. (KY3) - We are through Thanksgiving and heading into Christmas and hospitals across the U.S. are filling up again with flu patients.

“We’ve seen a lot of the flu and upper respiratory viral things, COVID obviously, still seeing a fair amount of that, in kids we’re seeing a lot of RSV,” said Dr. Brent Rosson, Internal Medicine at North Arkansas Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Rosson said it’s keeping physicians in the Natural state busy this fall.

“Hospitals are kind of filling up again, I think in Arkansas last Friday, or at least last week, at one point there was only 70 or so ICU beds left in the whole state,” said Rosson.

Rosson also said pharmacies are being pushed to the limit.

“The other issue we’ve run into down here is that the pharmacies or carriers, they’re out of Tamiflu, which is one of the medications you can use to treat the flu,” said Rosson. “They’re out of Paxlovid, which is one of the medications used to treat COVID and so you’re kind of left with just treating this symptom-wise versus having anything really available any of the antiviral stuff available to us.”

Rosson said several factors are helping drive the flu numbers up.

“I think it’s kind of the combination of everything, certainly droplets spread, which typically is what you see with influenza and RSV,” said Rosson. “A little bit of distance, a little bit of just source control, keeping your own germs to yourself, and a little bit of hand washing can go a long way. Also, all of the stuff that we did over the last couple of years a lot of people weren’t exposed to a lot of those things as well, like they typically were, so I think we’re just seeing a kind of a perfect storm of everything.”

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