Flu and COVID cases continue to rise

Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 6:00 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2022 at 6:54 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - It may feel like every time you turn around, someone around you is getting sick.

With the holidays around the corner, doctors at Memorial Hospital say they’ve seen more people coming to the Emergency Room with some kind of sickness.

“We are seeing a decrease in influenza but a big increase in the common cold but also, unfortunately, an increase an increase in people getting ill from COVID-19 again,” Tim Connelly said.

Dr. Tim Connelly says they have 6 people in the hospital with COVID. He says on a scale doctors use to measure the severity of the FLU from 1-13, our area is at a 10. Dr. Connelly says some people are getting multiple viruses like COVID, Flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV at once.

“And that’s when it becomes serious.”

And here at St. Joseph’s Hospital doctors also say they’re seeing a lot of people coming in sick especially with the Flu.

Dr. Jeff Kenney says their ER has had wait times because of the high volumes and his staff has had to make changes to keep up.

“It started out with a big surge in RSV which has tapered off a bit and flu A is what we’re seeing a lot of right now.”

The big question why are we seeing so much illness spreading? Dr. Kenney and Dr. Connelly have their theories.

“As time goes on there is an unattended consequence for being too good and masking too well and social distancing too well and our immune system forgets these common viruses that we see. So now our immune system is trying to play catch up and we are seeing a lot of illnesses as a result,” Connelly said.

“Unfortunately, I think people are tired kind of burnt out on it they gave up on staying home from work and school when they are sick and they gave up on getting vaccinated so we have seen relatively poor levels of vaccinations this season which has hurt us.”

If you test negative for COVID, Dr. Kenney says it’s important to make sure you don’t have anything else you could spread to others. If you’re traveling for the holidays, doctors also say you should mask in tight quarters when around people you don’t see often.