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The U.S. Tackles Growing Flu And Covid Cases

The next few weeks might be a critical turning point for this country’s fight against three different viruses. Dr. Vin Gupta joins Morning Joe to discuss. » Subscribe to MSNBC: Follow MSNBC Show Blogs MaddowBlog: ReidOut Blog: MSNBC delivers breaking news, in-depth analysis of politics headlines, as well as commentary and informed

The U.S. Tackles Growing Flu And Covid Cases

The next few weeks might be a critical turning point for this country’s fight with three different viruses new numbers from the CDC show that early signs that the flu might have peaked but that’s far from a guarantee and at the same time covet infections are seriously climbing NBC news correspondents Sam Brock has the latest.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to see family but unfortunately the holidays have also proved fertile ground for transmitting viruses and many Americans are all too aware I’m vaccinated and boosted and even got the flu vaccine we try to be safe you know try not to see a lot of people during this time so we can actually be with our.

Loved ones those all important get-togethers are coming at a time when hospitalizations for the flu have fallen for two consecutive weeks though seasonal activity remains High according to the CDC and covet infections are beginning to gather steam over the last two weeks covet hospitalizations are up seven percent in deaths 15 percent the.

Places with the biggest change in hospitalized patients span the map from Delaware DC and New Hampshire in the East to Louisiana and the South and Wyoming in the west where the figure has jumped more than 40 percent in a week in Miami’s largest Health Care System Jackson Health it’s essentially quadrupled chief medical officer Dr hany.

Attallah says there’s been a significant uptick in patients just in recent weeks we saw covert was in the in the teens maybe three four weeks ago it was relatively low we saw that number jump up to the to mid to high 90s about a week ago or so and with Americans crisscrossing the country many fighting weather and coughs the best option may.

Be to assume those you travel around in the next couple of weeks are sick on the return trip home and also in those first few days going back to school back to work what kind of advice do you have for people if you’re traveling nowadays make sure you’re wearing a mask obviously it’s even better if you’re wearing a mask and have.

Your vaccine you know if you can schedule your travel at times where it’s a less busy travel time which of course is difficult this time of season that’s a good idea as well even and now medical experts say getting a flu shot or a coveted booster could make a big difference NBC’s Sam Brock with that report and.

Joining us now NBC News medical contributor Dr Vin Gupta Dr Gupta good morning happy holidays thanks for being with us let’s start with kovid we have you and I have talked about this a few times in recent weeks those numbers really starting to climb a lot of Public Health officials say because of so many family gatherings around the holidays.

And the terribly cold winter weather keeping people indoors we’re probably going to have a major spike in the next couple weeks into January what are you seeing so far Jonathan happy holidays it’s great to be here uh just exactly that we are gearing up for a a winter search that’s not going to look as bad as 2020 2021 that’s.

The expectation remember Jonathan uh everybody is testing at home they’re not reporting those numbers so the estimated infection rate is going to be much higher than what we’re actually seeing in terms of reported numbers in media we’re estimating infections to Peak at about 1.6 million by the middle of January we’re going to see about we.

Expect these These are forecasts anywhere from six to eight thousand deaths week over week mid-January to early February so the worst is yet to come for covet we think but that’s going to be the second half of the cold and flu season and and to your point flu hospitalizations are at a Peak at a 10-year Peak at this point in the flu.

Season hopefully coming down RSV similarly coming down so some good signs but we’re at a really high peak for those two viruses yeah and and I want to get your take on potentially a troubling development when it comes to covid we’re seeing of course this massive outbreak right now in China as they ease their zero covid policy restrictions what is.

Your degree of concern about the virus not just spreading from China but if that’s going to be such a Hot Zone the chance that we may get a mutation and a new variant that we’re all going to have to Grapple with well Jonathan I think that’s exactly that from a Global Security lens the chance that a variant could arise.

We’re seeing tens of millions of potential estimated infections day over day that type of transmission invariably there will be a variant whether that causes uh vaccines to no longer be effective to keep you away from somebody like me remains to be seen But the chance of something like that happening is.

Certainly higher given their chain their pivot I am I’m more optimistic than some that they’re going to escape a a severe surge uh in in terms of hospitalizations getting really really high and people dying at rates of millions and millions I think I’ve seen some numbers out there that are very extreme remember 98 of the Chinese population has at least two.

Vaccines in them those vaccines are not the MRNA vaccines but they are somewhat protective against severe illness so I do think they have some level of protection against a severe surge Dr Gupta Elise here with so many viruses swirling around RSV the flu covid people are suffering the common cold can you have more than one of these at the same.

Time alongside covid at least that’s a such an interesting question sometimes my patients who for example have asthma COPD will ask that question because they’re medically higher risk what we’ve seen is that if your body is fighting off one virus like say flu it’s possible that you could be.

Co-infected but it is it hasn’t been likely where you’re co-infected with covet and flu at the same time part of one of the hypotheses is that your your lungs are revved up your immune cells are wrapped up in your lungs and they’re able to actually fight off a second virus as they’re uh as they’re taking on their primary fight against whatever.

Infected them first and so that that revving up of the immune system appears to be protective against co-infection two viruses at the same time it’s possible but it appears less likely all right well Dr Van Gupta with these cases so high I’m certain we will speak be speaking to you again soon thank you for joining us this morning.