How to avoid viral infection after exposure to a viral infection is the biggest challenge to health professionals in this epidemic, according to a study by the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
The study, published Thursday in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
It found that among those who received an alcohol-related injury, almost a third of those who reported an alcohol related injury did not seek medical care.
That percentage was similar among people who reported a viral illness.
“The majority of the people who did not go to the emergency room because they had alcohol-associated illness were not in a critical condition,” said Dr. Eric Cressey, a professor in the department of medicine at the University.
“So, if you have an alcohol overdose, you can get sick pretty easily.”
For many people, even if they’re not in critical condition, they’re still at risk for infection.
The vast majority of those infections do not require hospitalization, but they do require a visit to the hospital, a procedure that can be costly.
The findings are important because they indicate that while many people who have alcohol-induced illness are unlikely to need hospitalization for viral infections, it’s still worth calling on healthcare workers to treat these patients when they are.
“People who are in critical conditions have higher mortality risk, because they have to go to hospital for viral infection and also because of the higher rate of hospitalization,” Cresley said.
“It’s not uncommon for a hospital stay to be longer than the duration of a viral outbreak.
And if people have to be hospitalized for viral illness, the healthcare system is going to have to take into account that risk.”
This story was originally published on The Associated Press and was republished with permission.