HomeHealthRespiratory infection going around the Valley, likely not COVID-related

Respiratory infection going around the Valley, likely not COVID-related

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PHOENIX — There’s an infection going around the Valley that may have you thinking you have COVID-19 or the flu.

Dr. Andrew Carroll, a local family physician with Atembis, says he hasn’t seen a spike in well-known viruses as of late.

“It just seems to be a mishmash of many of them, but this bronchial illness we’ve been seeing pretty commonly in our community seems to be going from one person to another, ”

He’s talking about a surge in illness stemming from a respiratory infection. That infection is mostly affecting folks with bronchial issues.

“It’s really making a lot of folks sick and it’s affecting people globally. And it’s a combination of both this viral infection, possibly a bacterial infection, but then all the allergens that are popping up right now,” he added.

This respiratory infection is triggering asthmatics and people with pre-existing lung disease.

However, even if you don’t have those conditions, you can still get sick.

“We’ll have folks who come in who’ve never had asthma before and they sound like an asthmatic when I listen to their lungs and it’s because of the infection,” said Dr. Carroll.

Dr. Carroll says those who are most likely to get it are school-aged children ages 6-18. “A lot of those kids are getting sick with that bronchial illness. And then the older age group, so anyone above the age of 55,” he added.

How can you best protect yourself and your loved ones? “If you have to be in a public place and you know that you have a respiratory infection, cover your mouth. Ideally, I know we said it before, masking does work,” said Dr. Carroll.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) data shows statewide hospitals are roughly at 80% capacity.

COVID accounts for a very small percentage of that.

The data also shows two Arizona hospitals anticipate critical staffing shortages by next week.

The last time an Arizona hospital actually had a staffing shortage was in December of 2022.


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