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Respiratory illnesses rise in Central Texas; health care system ‘stressed’

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 7:20 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - There are only 100 available hospital beds in the trauma service area serving Bell, Coryell, Milam, Lampasas, Mills and Hamilton counties and a local doctor says their beds are mostly taken up by patients with respiratory illnesses that typically are present in winter months.

“Respiratory syncytial virus, Rhinovirus, Adenovirus and parainfluenza virus we’re seeing it very prevalent right now very heavy in numbers, much more so than any other July we have experienced,” Dr. Dominic Lucia with Baylor Scott and White McLane Children’s said Monday.

He says the hospital is trying to find the space and staff to meet the demand of patients coming into the hospital, but it’s getting to be a lot.

“I think the system is stressed,” Dr. Lucia said. “You may not get COVID but these other illnesses are no fun at all, we want to be here to take care of you but its a struggle all around right now across the state of Texas with the amount of virus going around right now.”

He says he thinks people did so well monitoring their health over the last year, that as they decide the pandemic is over, they’re forgetting common practices like hand washing.

As kids go back to school he says they’ll continue to monitor the situation, but says if things keep going the way they are now, it could create a problem.

“I do worry that if we go back full fledged, no masks, and back to the way things were in 2019 we could be in for a rough winter,” Lucia said.

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