Hospitals weigh in on what may be ahead this winter in the County

Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 6:58 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2022 at 11:10 AM EST
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AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine (WAGM) - With Influenza A spiking, is this the peak or is this just the beginning of the flu, Covid and RSV seasons?

Dr. Brian Griffin the CMO of Houlton Regional Hospital says, “I think Covid is gonna always be there kind of in the background. I’m not sure that we’re gonna see a huge peak like we had in the past. RSV, same thing. That seems to have peaked, that probably will continue downward. But the flu I think is going, given past history is going to kind of hang with us a bit longer, and the big concern across is going into the holidays. We may see a bump up as everyone gets together over the next couple weeks. And that will probably be something that we’ll see as well.”

Kris Doody the CEO of Cary Medical Center, “I mean, if you look at the flu season in Aroostook County, we’re usually late. It’s usually not until like February, March into April. I mean, if that’s the case, then we’re going to have a rough winter. And we’ve also had a very mild beginning of the winter season. It’s been really quite nice until just recently and now people are going indoors, gathering for the holidays as Dr. Griffin described. And, we’re going to see a peak of something frankly. When you ask the question, Kelly, I think every single one of us would love to know what the crystal ball for the next infectious disease is going to be and how we’re gonna react to it.

Dr. Stephanie Gillis, the Director of Primary Care at Northern Maine Medical Center, “And I think one of the most difficult things for us in the hospital, you’re trying to look at data. You’re trying to watch the trends, but there’s a delay in gathering data, and we all do the best that we can in trying to predict those things, but it really is, everything is not very predictable right now. The viruses are behaving a little bit differently. They’re coming, peeking earlier. things have been crowded out by Covid for the last several years we’ve been masking now largely we’re unmasked and out in public a lot more exposed to things that we don’t have natural immunity built up against. And so these viruses are acting a little differently than they did several years ago when we were seeing them more commonly. So I also expect, as Dr. Griffin said, after the holidays, we will probably see a peak again in many of these. But it’s so hard to know, and hopefully I’ll be proven wrong.”