March 4, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

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

Two New Mixed-Use Developments Near Sony Studios in Palms Unveiled

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

Stylish Developments Emerge at Washington Blvd and Motor Ave Just across from Sony Pictures Studios, in the Palms district, a...

LA City Council Greenlights Master Leasing Program to Tackle Homelessness Crisis

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

Unanimous Vote Sets Stage for Different Approach to Expand Housing Options The Los Angeles City Council came one step closer...

LAHSA Report Exposes Failures of Anti-Camping Ordinance, Allegedly Kept Secret Since November

March 3, 2024

March 3, 2024

City Controller and Council Members Speak Out Against Withheld Report  LA City Controller Kenneth Meija posted comments on social media...

Hollywood Prepares for 96th Oscars: Street Closures and Traffic Updates Revealed

March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ceremony to Close Local Streets The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,...

Culver City Police Department Disperse Reckless Driving Gathering Near Costco

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

CCPD Officers Successfully De-Escalates Situation, Crowd Disperses Culver City Police Department officers responded to a series of calls over the...

Construction Alert: Topanga Canyon Boulevard Faces Nightly Closures Starting March 4

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

Caltrans Announces 18-Mile Project Spanning Chatsworth to PCH Commuters in the Los Angeles area should prepare for significant delays as...

FTC Takes Legal Action to Block $24.6 Billion Kroger-Albertsons Merger

February 29, 2024

February 29, 2024

Largest Proposed Supermarket Merger Faces Antitrust Allegations The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to block Kroger...

Regarding Her Dinner at Hatchet Hall is Part of Planned Women’s History Month Celebration

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Events Showcase Women-Led Farms, Vineyards, and Chefs, Supporting ‘Regarding Her’ Nonprofit Hatchet Hall, the renowned Culver City restaurant, invited patrons...

Leap Day Brings Once-in-Four-Year Deals at Popular Restaurants All Day Long

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’, and More Roll Out Special Offers to Mark the Occasion Leap Day, that rare additional day occurring...

Sweet Lady Jane’s Social Media Tease Continues As Locations Sport Hiring Notices

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Mysterious Posts Leave Fans Eager for the Return, But Questions Linger By Dolores Quintana After resurfacing on social media, the...

(Video) Pro-Palestine Protest at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Protesters were there to protest the arrival of U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi Counter-protesters drove by in a car. @culvercitywlanews Pro-Palestine...

(Video) Restaurants Replace Glass Front Doors After Late Night Robbery Spree in Del Ray

February 28, 2024

February 28, 2024

Seven restaurants and small businesses in Del Rey and Venice, including Nick the Greek and Dudley Market, were robbed. Council...

Hollywood Royalty to Shine at 96th Oscars: First Wave of Star-Studded Presenter Lineup Unveiled

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Incredible Lineup of Actors and Previous Oscar Winners Announced Executive producer and showrunner Raj Kapoor, along with executive producers Molly...

Vote Smart, Vote Early: Streamlining Your 2024 Presidential Primary Experience in L.A. County

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Skip the Lines and Save Time – Your Guide to Early Voting Options  In preparation for the upcoming 2024 Presidential...

Overnight Burglaries Rattle Del Rey, Venice: LAPD Investigates String of Incidents

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Seven Businesses Targeted, Including Nick the Greek and Dudley Market The Los Angeles Police Department officers are investigating a series...