News Flash • DuPage County Health, IL • Civic Engage

November 22, 2022
for immediate RELEASE

DuPage County Health Systems
experienced a dramatic increase in the number of children
Seeking care for respiratory diseases

Leads to shortage of pediatric hospital beds and delayed care

DuPage County – Right now, in DuPage County, there are days when the hospitals serving DuPage County’s nearly 1 million residents don’t have open beds for seriously ill children.

Hospitals and clinics are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of people who are sick with respiratory illnesses such as influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and COVID-19. Children are particularly affected, with more children with serious illness seeking care in hospitals and waiting times of several hours can be seen. Some even needed to be transferred to another health facility.

We must work together to stay healthy and reduce the number of people who get sick. As public health and medical leaders in DuPage County, our organizations are working hard to ensure the healthcare providers and resources needed to care for these individuals are available. Our healthcare system and workforce are being strained again. This means that the care we need at the time we need it is at risk of not being available.

Thankfully, we can take steps to ensure that this care is always available. We’re asking for your help making a difference this holiday season by taking steps to reduce the spread of illness in our communities. This will help keep people healthy and ensure that our health care systems are ready for those who need them – whether they are very ill, in an accident, or suffering from a life-threatening condition.

We hope that in the next few months everyone will have the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones. Unfortunately, the winter months are also when respiratory illnesses are on the rise. We spend more time indoors with large groups of people. This increases the likelihood that someone who is sick will spread their infection to others. Avoid missing out on important moments this season — help keep everyone safe and sound with these three actions.

  1. Stay up to date with all recommended vaccines, including COVID-19 And influenza,
    • By getting vaccinated, you can protect yourself and prevent the spread of preventable diseases to others in your family and community.
    • Some people cannot get certain vaccines because they are too young or too old or have a weak immune system or other serious health condition. When you and others around you are vaccinated against it, they are less likely to get a preventable disease.
  2. stay home when sick,
    • When you are not feeling well, you may be more likely to spread the disease to others when you cough, sneeze, have a fever, etc.
    • Protect those around you by staying away until you recover. Ask your healthcare provider what treatments are available and appropriate for you.
    • If you are sick and develop any symptoms (such as runny nose, cough or fever), wear a mask if you need to be around others.
    • Be sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • If you are an employer, encourage and support sick people to stay home to keep your employees and customers healthy.
  3. Improve your wind.
    • Respiratory viruses spread through the air. Improve the air around you by bringing in more outdoor air – for example, by opening windows or increasing air filtration in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, such as by changing filters more often and using such filters which fit snugly and provide high filtration.
    • Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaner
    • Be sure to turn on the exhaust fans and use other fans to improve airflow or turn your thermostat to the “on” position instead of “auto” to ensure that your HVAC system provides consistent airflow and filtration. does.
    • You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an extra precaution to protect yourself and others. If you are at high risk for severe illness, consider wearing a mask in public and taking extra precautions indoors. Wear the most protective mask you can that fits well. Wearing a high-quality mask (such as an N95 or KN95) helps protect you and others by reducing the chance of spreading respiratory illness.

As public health and medical leaders in DuPage County, we recognize the tremendous efforts of health workers across the county to care for us, our friends, our families and those we love. We are proud to have world class health and medical organizations in DuPage County. Help us make sure you or your loved one gets the care they need when they need it. Take action to stay healthy and keep others around you safe.

Karen J. Ayala, MPH
Executive Director

DuPage County Health Department

Rashmi Chugh, MD, MPH

medical officer
DuPage County Health Department

Bela Nand, MD, MBA, FACP
chief Medical Officer
Arrival, Great Lakes Region

Roseanne Nieves, MSN, MBA, RN, NE-BC
Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer
advocate good samaritan

William Rhodes, DO, FACP
chief Medical Officer
advocate good samaritan

Donald Hochet, MD, FACG, AGAF
chief Medical Officer
due health and care

Daniel Sullivan, MD
chief medical executive
Edward-Elmhurst Health

Robert Peyton, MD

vice president

chief Medical Officer

Edward Hospital

Patricia Fairbanks, RN, MSN

associate vice president

chief nursing officer
Edward Hospital

Kimberley Dare, MD, CPE, FACOG

chief Medical Officer

vice president of medical affairs

Elmhurst Hospital

Marcie Lafido, RN-BC, MSN, CNS

associate vice president

chief nursing officer

Elmhurst Hospital

Kevin P Most, DO
Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs
chief Medical Officer
Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital

Suzanne T. McCoy, DNP, RN, NNP-BC, NEA-BC
Vice President and Flynn Family Chief Nursing Executive
Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital

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