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Top epidemiologist says recent wave of respiratory infections in China shouldn't concern Americans

Yale's Dr. Harvey Risch attributed the surge in reported cases to the Chinese generally using the emergency room as their primary care

Published: November 29, 2023 12:16pm

Updated: November 29, 2023 12:28pm

Top U.S. epidemiologist, Dr. Harvey Risch says that the latest wave of respiratory infections in China should not be of concern to Americans. 

"By and large, it's a fall wave of fall respiratory virus infections that is pretty standard," the professor Emeritus of Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health Said on the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. "It's happening here and in Europe. The mix of organisms might be a little different. But by and large, it's what we normally have."

According to recent media reports, hospitals in China have had a surge of patients in their emergency rooms with respiratory infections. A lot of the patients reportedly have been children. 

Risch attributed the surge to the Chinese generally using the emergency room as primary care.

"What you need to be sure of is whether the hospital inpatients are filling up or not," he said. "My understanding is they're not. It's in the children's hospitals as well. ... This is lots of people going to emergency rooms to have their symptoms treated. There could be some that are more serious."

He also predicted that many people may also still be psychologically traumatized by COVID-19, which is why there may be some panic in the media over these stories. 

"Maybe we forgot that we normally have this because we were all psychologically paralyzed by COVID for the last three years," Risch said. "But it is what normally happens in the fall and winter months in the northern hemisphere."

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