COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
University of Missouri Health Care officials said they are experiencing a higher number of patients in its emergency rooms at its urgent care clinics.
MU Health Care said the spike is due in part to a large increase in viral infection in Columbia. MU Health Care Emergency Physician Dr. Christopher Sampson said the flu, RSV and COVID-19 are leading reasons.
RSV and the flu are affecting children at a high rate, while adults have been catching the flu and COVID-19.
There has been a steep increase in Influenza A, as MU Health Care has been seeing more than 275 patients a week in December. In November it was seeing about 50 patients a week for the strain.
Influenza B saw a small peak at the end of November, but has stayed relatively low compared to Influenza A.
As the holiday season rolls around Sampson advises residents to be mindful of others if they are feeling under the weather.
"I think of of the biggest ways to stay safe is if you're feeling ill, stay home," Sampson said. "Don't attend those family events."
"Probably the next best thing would be hand washing, it's a good way to prevent infection, if you are concerned that you might be ill or if you have immunosuppression or other disease illnesses," Sampson said. "Wearing a mask can also be helpful if you are around other family members."
Sampson said the Emergency room is open 24/7 and if you are suffering from severe symptoms they are ready to treat you. If you do have minor signs Sampson said there are multiple Urgent Cares placed around the city.