LOCAL NEWS

Gamez: Safety concerns over the holidays with ‘tripledemic’ surge

Dec 9, 2022, 2:22 PM
tripledemic...
The flu is spreading fast and unusually early this year all across the country. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

The flu is spreading fast and unusually early this year all across the country. Even my family was hit with Influenza A over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was so bad that we had to take our daughter to Seattle Children’s Hospital twice because of breathing issues. We also had a hard time finding children’s Tamiflu and had to use the Children’s pharmacy to ultimately fill the prescription – QFC and Safeway were both out.

So with Christmas and Hanukkah approaching, what can we do to stay safe?

Rise of pediatric flu causes worst medication shortage in ’15 years’

CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook joined CBS Mornings and shared tips on how to keep safe during the holiday season. However, his advice still holds true for future holiday gatherings:

1. Mask up – don’t let anyone shame you for wearing a mask.

2. Ventilate – if you are in a room with a lot of people, open a window, and maybe take your get-together outside.

3. Test for Covid-19 before you meet up (we are testing Thursday evening before we travel).

4. Get vaccinated. The flu and Covid vaccines are available. There is, unfortunately, no vaccine for RSV.

5. Keep your distance

It is possible that COVID-19 restrictions helped lower influenza transmissions, however now that mask restrictions aren’t in effect, cases appear to be going up.

Over the past few weeks, weekly hospital visits for “influenza-like illness” increased from 1,300 per week (3%) to nearly 6,000 visits per week (13%), according to data from the Washington State Department of Health (WSDH). And those numbers are just from the 73 providers who share data with the WSDH.

Each county tracks data differently, but Pierce County alone shows nearly 4,000 people went to the emergency department or urgent care last week from influenza-like illnesses – accounting for 14% of all visits.

So far, 13 deaths have been reported in Washington, including one child.

Follow Micki Gamez on Twitter or email her here.

Local News

foster...
Kathryn Stone

Oregon kidnapping suspect taken into custody after standoff

Law enforcement officials were able to determine that Foster had been accessing dating applications on his phone.
1 day ago
Friends kitchen...
Micki Gamez

The Friends Experience pop-up opens in Seattle on Feb. 1

The FRIENDS Experience invites fans to step inside the world of the iconic series, relive their favorite moments, and celebrate the show.
1 day ago
dead road rage...
L.B. Gilbert

Greenwood road rage fight involved knife, baseball bat

Police are investigating a road rage incident involving a bat and a knife in a QFC parking lot in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.
1 day ago
The logo for OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, appears on a mobile phone, in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 31...
Associated Press

Cheaters beware: ChatGPT maker releases AI detection tool

ChatGPT is trying to curb its reputation as a freewheeling cheating machine with a new tool that can help detect if artificial intelligence wrote it
1 day ago
lake stevens...
L.B. Gilbert

Case dismissed against Lake Stevens HS employee accused of sexual misconduct

A Lake Stevens School District employee is under arrest after being suspected of improper sexual contact with at least one child.
1 day ago
bristol bay...
L.B. Gilbert

Bristol Bay salmon runs protected as EPA halts mine development

The EPA won a 12-year battle for a cleaner habitat by taking big steps to protect Bristol Bay salmon runs, the most productive in the world.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Gamez: Safety concerns over the holidays with ‘tripledemic’ surge