Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Roanoke health leaders say COVID cases stabilizing, Hepatitis A cases growing


ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Health leaders in Roanoke said Tuesday they’re continuing to watch the rates of two illnesses: COVID-19 and Hepatitis A.

While one appears to be heading toward a decline, cases of another continue to rise.

On the COVID-19 front, Dr. Cynthia Morrow said during her virtual Tuesday briefing that she is “cautiously optimistic.” Data the Roanoke City-Alleghany Health District is collecting shows our COVID numbers are mostly stable.

A few weeks ago, some portions of the district were in high community transmission. Now, Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Covington and Salem were bumped down to moderate transmission. Alleghany, Botetourt and Craig are in low transmission.

Dr. Morrow said they still need to see what kind of effect the Memorial Day holiday had, but again, she is hopeful this has been a “muted” surge.

“But the rends right now are in our favor and when I talk about trends I’m looking at the cases, I’m looking at influenza-like illness surveillance, looking at our wastewater surveillance programs, looking at hospitalizations,” she explained, “and everything right now looks like it’s trending down so that’s great news.”

Now to Hepatitis A, something else the district is tracking really closely. Two more cases have been identified in the district since last week, bringing our total to 60 so far this year.

Compared that with the two to three cases the district usually sees and it tells you why the health district is paying attention.

Since we’ve had a few scares in restaurants, yesterday they hosted a clinic for food workers – vaccinating 50 people.

The health district recommends all adults should consider getting vaccinated.

Dr. Morrow said all it takes is a two-dose vaccine to help protect you. You’re still considered protected if you got yours as a child.

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