A health emergency has been declared in Southern California’s Orange County due to rapidly spreading virus infections.

The county health officer issued the declaration Monday due to record numbers of pediatric hospitalizations and daily emergency room visits, the OC Health Care Agency said in a press release.

“Additionally, a Proclamation of Local Emergency has been declared, which allows the County to access State and Federal resources to address the situation and seek mutual aid from surrounding counties,” the statement said.

Last week, neighboring San Diego County’s public health agency sounded a similar alarm.

“Local health providers are seeing an early spike in flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases, and while COVID-19 cases are currently trending down in the region, a triple whammy of all three viruses circulating at the same time could lead to strains on the already overburdened medical system,” a San Diego County statement said.

This 2005 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows recreated 1918 influenza virions that were collected from a 1918 cell culture.
Southern California’s Orange County has already seen a spike in viruses like the flu.
Cynthia Goldsmith/CDC via AP

While there is no vaccine for RSV, Orange County’s health officer, Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, said children and at-risk individuals should keep up to date on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, wear masks indoors and stay home when sick.



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