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Spike in flu, RSV, COVID cases overwhelm US health facilities

A vaccinator draws a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pediatric vaccine in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, US, Dec 5, 2021. (HANNAH BEIER / REUTERS)

LOS ANGELES / MOSCOW – The United States continues to see an unusual and early spike in flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections on top of a new wave of COVID-19 cases, which overwhelm healthcare facilities nationwide.

Over 4,300 influenza patients were admitted to hospitals in the week ending Oct 29, the highest for that time period in a decade and nearly double the prior week, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Over 14.9 million children in the country have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to US News and World Report

Meanwhile, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, tweeted on Tuesday that she has recovered from COVID-19.

Walensky again tested positive for COVID with mild symptoms on Oct 31 after completing a course of Pfizer's Paxlovid, having contracted the infection on Oct 22.

Separately, COVID patients in the United States have fallen through the cracks of a system that was time-consuming and difficult to navigate even before the COVID-19 pandemic, reported US News and World Report on Monday.

ALSO READ: Over 89m COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Colombia

"People are facing years-long wait times, insufficient legal support and a lack of clear guidance on how to prove they are disabled, compounded by the challenges of a medical system that does not have a uniform process for diagnosing long COVID," the report cited health experts and disability attorneys as saying.

Additionally, almost 30,000 child COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States in the latest week, the second consecutive weekly increase of reported child cases, according to the latest report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children's Hospital Association.

Over 14.9 million children in the country have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to the report. 

Moreover, new Omicron subvariants have led to increasing COVID-19 infections in the United States, with BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 accounting for over 35 percent of new cases in the latest week, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

READ MORE: US CDC concerned for new Omicron subvariants

Russia

Russia has registered 4,320 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 21,472,591, the official monitoring and response center said on Tuesday.

The center said the nationwide death toll increased by 63 to 390,712, while the number of recoveries grew by 8,123 to 20,868,400.