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U-M health system at full capacity due to rise in respiratory ailments

Hospital bed
Julie Viken
Hospital bed

Respiratory illnesses are causing an increase in hospitalizations in Washtenaw County.

Officials at the University of Michigan Health System say they are currently at capacity, due to an influx of patients with either COVID-19 or influenza.

Dr. Vikas Parekh is the associate chief medical officer for U-M Health. He says they expect infections will continue to climb during the holidays.

“These things aren’t perfectly predictable, but based on what we’ve seen elsewhere, and based on kind of what has happened so far, we anticipate this will peak sometime around the end of the calendar year, beginning of January.”

Parekh says, on the plus side, because fewer people choose to have elective surgeries in the weeks around Christmas and New Year’s, they do have more beds available to treat people with the flu or COVID-19.

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Taylor Pinson is a former WEMU news reporter and engineer.
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