Local ERs report a surge in patients with respiratory viruses
Waiting rooms are backing up as flu, RSV, and COVID spike
Local emergency department are seeing a big influx of patients with respiratory viruses right now - and doctors are warning patients to be prepared to wait.
SIH Herrin Hospital Emergency Department Medical Director Joshua Miksanek says his ER is clogged - and staff are doing the best they can.
"It's not just COVID, it's not just that. It's a lot of respiratory illness - a lot of fevers, a lot of 'I feel sick,' and so wait times are going to be extended I'm going to presume at least another week or two. We're just seeing numbers that we haven't seen consistently this high."
Dr. Miksanek says he doesn't want anyone to delay coming to the ER if they feel they need immediate attention - but he says if you're just seeking a flu or COVID test, you might be better off calling your primary care physician or heading to an urgent care clinic.
Experts says respiratory viruses like the flu and RSV are spiking this year because COVID mitigations kept the viruses at bay for the last two years - they say the very young and very old are susceptible to serious illness, and should get vaccines if they haven't already.