Southern California braces for difficult flu season as cases rise after COVID lull | Letters | Los Angeles Times
The Southern California region has been hit with the new coronavirus for several weeks now, and the numbers of people getting sick are on the rise, according to government projections.
The first confirmed cases were reported in the greater Los Angeles area on March 10, with the region becoming the epicenter of the current COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.
“It’s going to be an intense time for sure,” said Dr. John Bresee, chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at UCHealth Medical Center in Torrance and a past president of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons. “The health-care system is already stretched, financially. The numbers are going to go up exponentially, and we may get more cases in the coming days.”
Bresee’s hospital has treated at least 50 people who have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus and at least 27 of those have been sent off to intensive care, Bresee said. The hospital is currently operating on more than 60 people with various respiratory conditions.
The largest number of patients are being cared for at the University of Southern California Keck Medicine of USC. The medical center has seen six patients with the virus, including two young children, whose health care was provided by Keck Medicine, according to Dr. Matthew Jones, an infectious diseases specialist who is the president of the hospital.
“We are going to have to take care of the whole patient population,” Jones said.
In Orange County, at least three potential cases have been reported and health officials are looking into those who are possibly infected.
As of late Tuesday, a total of 2,664 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, had been reported in the greater Los Angeles area, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number is up from 2,562 cases on Monday. In the greater San Francisco area, the number of confirmed cases climbed to 1,351, up from 1,148