Hospitals across the country are preparing for a third Covid winter – the first which is also expected to include high levels of flu and other respiratory illnesses that have simmered quietly in the background for the past two years.
Flu cases are already increasing in parts of the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pediatricians, too, are seeing increasing numbers of children with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and enteroviruses.
And despite a downward trend in COVID, tens of thousands of new cases are still being diagnosed every day. The convergence of viruses is hitting health systems as they are forced to reckon with staffing shortages that have worsened during the pandemic.
According to Health System Tracker, a joint effort between the nonprofit organizations Peterson Center on Healthcare and Kaiser Family Foundation to monitor how well the US healthcare system is performing.
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