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Covid-19 cases rise, doctors send new warning

The Covid-19 patient population is back on the rise across California, including in Riverside County. 

Doctor Nasrollah Ahmadpour, who specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine at JFK Memorial Hospital, said there has been a shift in his patients, compared to the first two years of the pandemic.

“Their length of stay, hospital stay, is shorter than what it was earlier which is very important. So it means that they are not as sick as they used to be,” said Ahmadpour.

It’s a similar situation at Eisenhower Health. 

“Our average length of stay is about 3 and a half days. The majority are not requiring ICU care," said Doctor Alan Williamson, Chief Medical Officer at Eisenhower Health.

As of Friday, Riverside County Health showed 353 new Covid-19 cases since July 5th. 

Hospitalizations went up by 41 to 190, and patients in the ICU increased by 4.

No new deaths were reported. 

However, a spokesman for Riverside County said there are challenges to obtaining a thorough count of cases. 

“People are not required to report their at-home test to public health or government agencies,” said Jose Arballo JR., Senior Public Information Specialist for Riverside University Health.

Doctor Ahmadpour said the timing of the uptick in cases isn't surprising. 

“We have seen a spike in the number of covid cases exactly right after a holiday or a get together session like for example a music festival," said Ahmadpour.

He noted that the virus doesn’t just attack the respiratory system, but other organs including the heart.

So while most cases are not that severe anymore, someone with diabetes – for example – could face complications if they get Covid-19.

“Best case scenario, they’re going to go on dialysis for a while and they’ll recover, but for the future they are still at risk of having another problem with their kidney and lose that kidney function," said Ahmadpour.

He warned against creating an atmosphere for Covid-19 to mutate, which is what worries Doctor Williamson at Eisenhower Health.  

“What I think is concerning to us is obviously with the next variation that comes along who knows what that brings. Is it going to be contagious like these current variants, but back to being really a severe disease-causing virus?” said Williamson.

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Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus
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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3

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