Infectious Disease Update-

As expected for this time of year, we are seeing increased cases of respiratory illnesses, consistent with national trends. Our local hospitals began visitor restrictions on December 20, 2023, to decrease transmission. We know more about the risks of COVID-19, the flu, and other circulating viruses than we ever have, and we have immunizations available to protect against COVID-19, flu, and RSV, however vaccination rates remain low and lagging compared to last year.

COVID-19 Cases in Montgomery County, 2023

This graph includes data up to December 28, 2023, and shows COVID-19 cases detected by laboratory testing only.

  • Cases have been increasing since October 1, 2023.
  • In the last 21 days, the daily case count increased 18.5%: from 675 cases the week of 12/02/2023 to 800 cases the week of 12/23/2023.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations in Montgomery County, 2023

This graph shows data up to December 28, 2023, for COVID-19 hospitalizations in Montgomery County.

  • Hospitalizations have been generally increasing since October 2023
  • In the last 21 days, the hospitalization count increased 11.9%: from 59 hospitalizations the week of 12/02/2023 to 66 hospitalizations the week of 12/23/2023.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations in Ohio, August 2020-December 23, 2023

This graph shows COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the pandemic, from summer of 2020 through December of 2023.

  • Although COVID hospitalizations have been increasing for the past few months, they remain well below peak hospitalizations seen earlier in the pandemic.

Vaccination Status: Montgomery County Residents with the Latest COVID-19 Vaccine

This bar graph shows the number of Montgomery County residents who have received the latest COVID-19 vaccine, available since September 2023.

  • The number of vaccinations peaked in early October, shortly after the vaccine became available.
  • As of December 28, 2023, just under 10% of Montgomery County residents received the updated COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Although rates are low for all populations, significant differences exist for who is getting vaccinated by age.

Vaccination Status by Age: Montgomery County Residents with the Latest COVID-19 Vaccine

This bar graph shows vaccination status of Montgomery County residents by age, as of December 28, 2023. The graph axis (length of each bar) shows the number of people receiving vaccination, while the percentage on each bar shows the percentage in each age group who have received the updated vaccine.

  • As we saw earlier in the pandemic with previous versions of the COVID-19 vaccine, older individuals have higher rates of vaccination with the latest COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Rates of vaccination are highest in 75–79-year-olds and lowest in residents less than 20 years of age.

Flu Infections-

  • Seasonal flu activity is elevated and continues to increase.
  • Ohio is now at a HIGH level of influenza activity.

Influenza Cases Reported by our Regional Hospital Testing Facilities in West Central Ohio

  • Montgomery County has had 111 Influenza associated hospitalizations so far this flu season (as of 12/30/2023) and has experienced the highest rate of influenza-associated hospitalizations in the 11 County- West Central Ohio Region.
  • Last week, the first pediatric flu death in Ohio was reported in Clermont County. This season, there have been 20 pediatric flu deaths so far in the United States. Unfortunately, we expect this number will increase. There were a total of 183 pediatric deaths in the US last year.
  • It’s recommended that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccine as long as influenza viruses are spreading. Cases are continuing to increase. Vaccination now will still provide benefit this season.

RSV Infections- No slide

Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, is difficult to track, as it is not an infection that is required to be reported to the health department. Nonetheless, we know that nationally, RSV results in 60,000-160,000 hospitalizations and 6000-10,000 deaths among adults 65 years and older every year. In children, RSV is the leading cause of hospitalizations in the first year of life. Although infants born prematurely or with certain underlying medical conditions are at highest risk, most children hospitalized with RSV are born full-term and are previously healthy, emphasizing the need for preventive immunizations for all infants.

RSV immunization has been low for all groups.

  • RSV vaccination is available for adults aged 60 and older. As of December 9, 2023, 19.9% of Ohioans aged 60 years and older received the RSV vaccine.
  • RSV immunizations are recommended for infants during the RSV season, however unfortunately the availability of RSV immunization for infants has been low, and data are not available for this group. The good news is that adult RSV vaccines are available and vaccination during pregnancy will provides immunity to the newborn infant.
  • RSV vaccine is recommended for pregnant persons, at 32-36 weeks of pregnancy. As of December 9, 2023, 7.4% of eligible pregnant Ohioans received the RSV vaccine.

Pertussis

We are currently having a community outbreak of pertussis or whooping cough.

  • In Montgomery County, we have had 149 cases since the outbreak began on September 2, 2023, and have had a total of 169 cases in 2023, compared with 13 cases in 2022.
  • While the cases have ranged in age all the way up to 70+ years, 94% of the cases have been in children, with the highest number of cases in the 4–6-year-old group.
  • The majority of cases have attended school or daycare. We continue to watch the case numbers closely, as children return from their holiday break.

It’s never too late to get vaccinated. Protect yourself and others by making time to get vaccinated today! Being vaccinated can help us to stay active, out of the hospital, and doing the things we enjoy in 2024!

Most Read Features

Bed Bug Information

There are important steps that need to be followed once a boil water advisory ends. After the advisory has been lifted, it does not mean that the water is able to be used or drank right away. Please see the checklis...

The charts below represent the preliminary number of accidental overdose deaths in Montgomery County in 2020 as reported by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. These numbers may change when the final cause of de...

Signs and Symptoms The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected. Measles typically begins with high fever, cough, runny nose (coryza), and red, watery eyes ( conjunctivi...

Flu Advice from Public Health