May 23, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

LA County’s Winter Virus Surge: New Respwatch Dashboard Unveiled to Track COVID-19, Flu, and RSV

Stay Informed, Stay Safe: County Launches Comprehensive Surveillance Tool for Respiratory Viruses

By Dolores Quintana

In the past week, respiratory virus metrics, including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Covid-19, and influenza (flu), have exhibited a notable increase across Los Angeles County. Though the uptick is relatively modest, the indicators underscore the initiation of the winter virus season. Notably, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has introduced the Respwatch Surveillance Dashboard to provide weekly updates on flu, COVID-19, and RSV data, facilitating easy tracking for residents. The dashboard incorporates clinical laboratory surveillance, emergency department visits, and wastewater concentrations, offering comprehensive information in comparison to previous seasons.

The CDC Director, Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH, released a video update on December 6 that stated the CDC has seen that levels of Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are elevated, flu is continuing to increase nationwide, Covid is starting to increase again, and the CDC is seeing increases in cases of pneumonia. While she states that the organization has seen increases in respiratory illness in general, they have not yet tracked any new respiratory-based illnesses. Cohen advises that Americans should get their vaccinations, as it is not too late to receive them, especially the RSV vaccine for people over 60.  

Additionally, Cohen advises that Americans should continue to observe the protocols that can help keep them safe from respiratory illnesses of any kind: handwashing, improving ventilation, staying home if they are sick, avoiding people who show obvious signs of illness, and wearing masks. 

To ensure comparability, testing data on the dashboard relies on clinical laboratories participating in Public Health’s Sentinel Surveillance Network. This approach differs from COVID-only dashboards, which encompass countywide test positivity. Analyzing data from Sentinel Surveillance labs for the weeks ending Nov. 18 and Nov. 25 reveals incremental increases in RSV (13.4% to 15.1%), COVID-19 (7.4% to 8.9%), and flu (6.7% to 7.9%). Wastewater concentrations for all three viruses have experienced an uptick over the past five weeks, though still below last year’s levels.

Public Health emphasizes the seriousness of COVID-19 due to its potential for hospitalizations and fatalities, its evolving nature, and its enduring health impact. Therefore, Public Health continues to monitor specific COVID-19 metrics independently. The LA County COVID-19 Data dashboard, updated as of Nov. 30, consolidates key surveillance metrics into a single, accessible platform.

Amid the winter virus season, vaccination emerges as the primary defense against severe illness. The COVID-19 vaccine, now available throughout Los Angeles County, is free and recommended for all individuals six months and older. Notably, 860,000 doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the county. The vaccine is recommended irrespective of previous vaccination status, emphasizing its importance.

For individuals aged 60 and above, consultation with healthcare providers for an RSV vaccine is advised. RSV vaccination is also recommended for pregnant individuals between 32 and 36 weeks and infants under eight months. COVID-19 home tests remain pivotal in curbing the virus’s spread this winter, with the federal government allocating four free tests per household.

Testing is strongly advised for those exposed to COVID-19, experiencing symptoms, or interacting with vulnerable individuals. Those testing negative for COVID-19 yet displaying respiratory symptoms are urged to wear masks indoors, considering the potential presence of flu or RSV. A follow-up COVID-19 test 48 hours later is recommended if symptoms persist.

Individuals testing negative for COVID-19 with ongoing respiratory symptoms may have flu or RSV and should remain at home to prevent further spread. Antiviral medications may be prescribed for flu infections, reducing severity and duration. Eligible individuals testing positive for COVID-19 can consider Paxlovid, available at no cost across Los Angeles County. The Public Health Call Center (1-833-540-0473) offers assistance on vaccination testing and Paxlovid, which is operational seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Based on data through Nov. 25, the CDC Hospital Admission Level for Los Angeles County is currently rated as Low, with 4.8 new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

in News
Related Posts

UCLA Police Chief Reassigned After Assault on Palestine Solidarity Encampment

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Acting Chief Named as John Thomas Reassigned to Other Duties on Monday By Dolores Quintana In the aftermath of the...

(Video) The Long Awaited Opening of @Something About Her. The line was down the block for most of the day. Huge success

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

If you look closely you can see the owners in the video, who were so very gracious and genuine to...

Off-Duty West Bureau LAPD Officer Arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Officer Taken Into Custody in Westchester, Internal Affairs is Investigating An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was arrested Tuesday for...

UC Workers’ Strike Intensifies Amid Unresolved Labor Disputes

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

University of California Refuses to Attempt to Resolve ULPs The California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has urged the University...

LAPD, DEA, and Postal Service to Investigate Actor Matthew Perry’s Death

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

Authorities to Probe How Perry Obtained Ketamine Found in His System. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has launched an...

Venice Canal Attack Victim’s Condition Takes a Tragic Turn

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

CD 11 City Councilmember Traci Park Releases Statement The devastating news that one of the two women who were brutally...

City Files Lawsuit Against Motel Owners For Allegedly Allowing Drug Activity

May 22, 2024

May 22, 2024

A Court Order Could Close the Motel for One Year and Require Changes to Management By Zach Armstrong A lawsuit has...

(Video) 2024 Take Action Campaign Happening Now

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

More Information at takeactionla.com @centurycitywestwoodnews Take Action Campaign is happening now throughout LA County #mentalhealth #losangeles #fyp #california #wellbeing #health...

Father-Son Duo RSG Janitorial Services Finds Joy In Serving Customers

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Finding handymen and janitorial services can be a hard pick. RSG Janitorial Services, based in Los Angeles, offers a mix...

LA Pride 2024 Announces George Takei, Cassandro, and Kristin Crowley as Grand Marshals

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Celebrate “Power in Pride” with live broadcasts, a block party, and special events This year’s LA Pride Parade will celebrate...

Target Slashes Prices on 5,000 Everyday Items for Summer Savings

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Consumers to Enjoy Reduced Prices on Essentials Starting Now Target Corporation announced on Monday it will lower the everyday regular...

Check Out Local Library Events and Weekly Reading Programs For This Week

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Brentwood, Palisades, and West Los Angeles Libraries Are Ready for Summer As summer approaches, local libraries are gearing up for...

Los Angeles County Rent Relief Program Opens Second Round of Applications

May 20, 2024

May 20, 2024

Applications Accepted Until June 4, Funding and Support Have Been Increased  The Los Angeles County Rent Relief Program (LARRP) has...

Cynthia Erivo, Mickalene Thomas, and MUNA Honored at Star-Studded Event

May 20, 2024

May 20, 2024

Los Angeles LGBT Center Gala Raises $1.6M for LGBTQ+ Services The Los Angeles LGBT Center raised $1.6 million at its...

Detectives Seek Public’s Help to Locate Attilio Brillembourg, Stepfather of Greek Princess

May 20, 2024

May 20, 2024

Stepfather of Princess Tatiana of Greece is Missing in Malibu Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are seeking...