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As JUCM News readers know, public health officials and infectious disease specialists warned that holiday gatherings would likely prove to be fertile breeding grounds for COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus, and influenza. Just a couple of days into the new year, Alabama is the first state to announce that hospitalizations for COVID-19 started climbing shortly after Thanksgiving, to the point that they had essentially doubled (from 264 to 530) by New Year’s Day. Given that the preceding week saw a high number of parties and family get-togethers, the numbers would be expected to continue climbing. In a report aired by WVTM-13 in Birmingham, Alabama Hospital Association President Don Williamson, MD predicted that rates of hospitalization for flu, which the report noted had caused heavy traffic in urgent care centers already, will likely follow suit.

Warnings of a Seasonal Bump in Respiratory Infections Are Coming to Fruition—with More to Follow