SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Doctors from one Upstate hospital said both flu and RSV are spreading quickly across South Carolina.
“This year looks to be a lot different than the last couple of years. The last couple of years, we’ve all been focused on COVID, and we really didn’t see much of any of the other respiratory viruses particular things like influenza and RSV,” said Chris Lombardozzi, Chief Medical Officer for Quality at Spartanburg Regional Health Care System.
He said doctors are seeing an uptick throughout the state for the Flu and RSV.
“It looks like the southeast in particular, is starting to see the highest influenza activity across the country,” Dr. Lombardozzi said.
As people gear up to celebrate Halloween and other holidays, doctors are bracing for what could come.
“We’re concerned that we’re going to have a rough flu season and or RSV season–on top of what we hope is going to be a low level of COVID,” he said.
RSV, also known as Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is typically seen in children but this year they are seeing an increase in adults getting RSV as well.
“This year, we’re seeing it not just in little children. We’re seeing it in adults as well, and part of that is because we’re testing for it, along with influenza and along with COVID, to try to differentiate what people actually have, so that we can provide the best treatment for them,” he said.
“These two viruses influenza and RSV, have been suppressed over the last couple of years, probably because of all of the COVID-related restrictions,” Dr. Lombardozzi said.
Dr. Lombardozzi said recently, influenza hospitalizations have now passed the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“So, we have been hovering at around 20 or so inpatients per day for COVID, and if you recall during the very peak surges that we had in the last couple of years, we hit a high of about 350, so markedly down from those numbers,” Lombardozzi said.
Health experts want everyone to take precautionary measures as they get into the holiday groove.
“But, we want people to be smart. So, if you’re sick, please stay away from those settings. If you’ve got a cough or if you’re sneezing a lot– do the things that we all should do. Stay away from other people, try to stay home until you’re feeling better. If you’re not sure what’s going on, go get tested whether it be COVID, flu, or in the event of small children–RSV,” he said.
Lombardozzi is encouraging people to get their flu shots and vaccines.