More respiratory-related illnesses are requiring hospitalization in Lexington


Healthcare providers in central Kentucky are continuing to see an increase in patients with respiratory-related illnesses.Hanine El Haddad is director of infection prevention and control at University of Kentucky Healthcare. El Haddad said there’s currently what she terms “fair capacity” at UK Hospital. While the newest COVID variant BQ1 could escape immunity, the infectious disease doctor noted that may not mean an uptick in COVID patients.“We can certainly see an increase in the numbers because all the conditions there favor transmission. Whether or not these patients will be hospitalized due to COVID. It could be but we’re not anticipating a major surge,” El Haddad.El Haddad said the Children’s Hospital was strained with the number of RSV patients. El Haddad said getting flu and COVID shots, staying home when sick, and wearing a mask if experiencing respiratory symptoms are all important.She noted there’s been a steady increase in flu patients. El Haddad says staffing continues to be a challenge, but she added they are currently ok.“We’ve had some quite a few of employees out over the past couple of weeks with flu or flu-like illnesses. Again, we are currently operational. We always plan and anticipate to do our job,” said Haddad.At this point, El Haddad said a significant surge in COVID patients is not anticipated. But, she added, with cooler weather and gatherings for the holidays, the overall trend of patients with respiratory illnesses is expected.

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