Bristol hospitals see number of Covid patients triple in a week – Bristol Live

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Experts fear “devastating spikes” this winter
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The number of patients in Bristol hospitals with coronavirus has tripled in a week. The news comes as experts fear a drop in testing along with inadequate surveillance of new immune-evasive subvariants, could lead to a "devastating" spike in cases this winter.
Last week, there were 36 people in hospitals with coronavirus according to previous data supplied by Bristol City Council. There are currently 108 patients in hospitals in the Bristol region with COVID-19 and five patients in intensive care with the virus as of September 28. In Bristol, 62 per cent of people over 16 have had a booster or third dose.
The most recent, complete Government data shows that Covid cases have risen by 90 per cent in the City of Bristol local authority. 299 new cases were reported on September 24. In North Somerset, new positive cases were at 218 (a rise of 25 per cent) and 221 new cases (a rise of 69 per cent) in South Gloucestershire for the same time period.
Read more: Covid experts advise 'to get your booster' as hospitalisations rise in Bristol
While Bristol hospitals are not yet intending on introducing mandatory masks, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board has asked visitors to observe mask wearing in areas required. "The most important thing people can do to protect themselves and their loved ones from Covid-19, and support local services is to ensure they are up-to-date with all the Covid-19 vaccinations they are entitled to," a spokesperson added.
Health experts at Bristol City Council continue to advise the public to get vaccinated, wash their hands regularly and keep indoor spaces well ventilated. It is also advised to stay at home if you’re unwell and avoid contact with people if you can.
Some health experts have warned of a "perfect storm" is brewing this autumn as a new Covid wave could sweep across the UK. A new flu strain – H3N2 – is also being monitored internationally after it recently caused waves of infection in southern hemisphere countries such as Australia.
This H3N2 strain circulated in the UK last winter but was held largely in check by COVID-19 restrictions and while this helped to protect people from catching flu, it has also led to lower levels of natural immunity to this strain building up within the population.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) continue to urge everyone eligible for a free flu vaccine and a COVID-19 booster to take up the offer as soon as possible ahead of what could be a difficult winter with respiratory viruses circulating widely. This is currently available to anyone over the age of 50 and those in a clinical risk group.
Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at UKHSA, said: "Flu and COVID-19 are unpredictable but there are strong indications we could be facing the threat of widely circulating flu, lower levels of natural immunity due to less exposure over the last three winters and an increase in COVID-19 circulating with lots of variants that can evade the immune response. This combination poses a serious risk to our health, particularly those in high-risk groups.
"The H3N2 flu strain can cause particularly severe illness. If you are elderly or vulnerable because of other conditions you are at greater risk, so getting the flu jab is a sensible, potentially life-saving thing to do."
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