Mostly good news offered in Roanoke for COVID, Flu, Hepatitis A
ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The leader of the Roanoke City Allegheny Health Districts reported mostly good news Tuesday morning during her virtual update. But Dr. Cynthia Morrow said there is something catching the attention of infectious diseases experts.
As for COVID, Morrow’s report highlights the health district’s positive cases remaining relatively stable. No significant changes in case counts has been logged, with last week’s lab-confirmed report totaling 300 positive cases. This does not include at-home tests. Dr. Morrow said hospitalizations did rise recently, and she continues to encourage vaccination.
“People who are not vaccinated are almost 13 times the risk of hospitalizations compared to those who are fully up to date on their vaccines,” Dr. Morrow said. “So just a gentle reminder COVID is still with us.”
Our influenza season may have peaked very early, said Dr. Morrow. Flu activity and RSV activity remain low, leading experts to believe we may have peaked in late October, early November. She is optimistic, but cautious.
“Historically, in years where there has been an early influenza peak, sometimes there’s a second peak in early spring, so we’ll have to wait and see.”
So far, the health district has not logged a Hepatitis A case for 2023. That’s good news for a region health leaders have said was in a Hepatitis outbreak. Dr. Morrow said it’s the longest the district has gone without a case since September of 2021.
Dr. Morrow and other health leaders are monitoring a rise in cases of Invasive Group A Strep. Normally, strep is not a reportable disease, which means health districts don’t have an ability to track its activity. This strain of strep, however, is being monitored and is reported to be close to pre-pandemic levels. Dr. Morrow said the topic will be spotlighted at an upcoming meeting of communicable diseases within the Virginia Department of Health.
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