The county health officer issued the declaration Monday due to record numbers of pediatric hospitalizations and daily emergency room visits, the O.C. Health Care Agency said in a press release.
“Additionally, a Proclamation of Local Emergency has been declared, which allows the County to access State and Federal resources to address the situation and seek mutual aid from surrounding counties,” the statement said.
Last week, neighboring San Diego County’s public health agency sounded a similar alarm.
“Local health providers are seeing an early spike in flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases, and while COVID-19 cases are currently trending down in the region, a triple whammy of all three viruses circulating at the same time could lead to strains on the already overburdened medical system,” a San Diego County statement said.
While there is no approved vaccine for RSV — though Pfizer has one in development — Orange County’s health officer, Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong said children and at-risk individuals should keep up to date on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, wear masks indoors and stay home when sick.