Covid-19 worsens US health care system winter woes

Covid-19 worsens US health care system winter woes

WASHINGTON – Covid-19 has further compounded the woes of the US health care system, which even prior to the pandemic was strained by winter illnesses, and risks imperiling it for years to come, according to a recently published report.

Traditionally, the strains on the health care system in winter come from influenza and other seasonal illnesses, including respiratory syncytial virus.

But with the advent of Covid-19, the viruses have formed what the Washington Post newspaper called an “unholy trinity of pathogens that surge in the cold months.”

That has led to some hospitals being forced to put off other life-saving treatments with White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha telling the Post that the existing health care system may buckle under the pressures being presented.

“I am worried that we are going to have, for years, our health system being pretty dysfunctional, not being able to take care of heart attack patients, not being able to take care of cancer patients, not being able to take care of the kid who’s got appendicitis because we’re going to be so overwhelmed with respiratory viruses for… three or four months a year,” Jha told the Post.

“I just think people have not appreciated the chronic cost, because we have seen this as an acute problem,” Jha said. “We have no idea how hard this is going to make life for everybody, for long periods of time.”

Still, another official who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity was not quite so sure that Jha’s analysis would be borne out.

“It’s not an unreasonable hypothesis,” the official said. “But I don’t think we have hit a steady state of disease to be able to say for sure what we will see year in and year out. … It’s very dynamic.”

“We all agree that the virus is evolving faster than we thought. We just don’t know where the virus is headed. We don’t even know what the next three weeks are going to hold,” added the official. (Anadolu)

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