What is the difference between what's happening in hospitals now and 1st outbreaks?

ABC News medical contributor Dr. Darien Sutton shares the latest update and concerns on COVID-19.
2:50 | 10/17/20

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Transcript for What is the difference between what's happening in hospitals now and 1st outbreaks?
Joining us now from los Angeles is ABC news medical contributor Dr. Darien Sutton whose specialty is emergency medicine. Dr. Sutton, thanks so much for joining us. We always appreciate it. I want to jump to this. You are an E.R. Doctor and seen the impact of this virus firsthand. With the troubling increases in cases and hospitalizations across the country, what trends are most concerning you and is there a difference between what's happening in our hospitals now and the first outbreaks we saw in the spring? Good morning. So these trends are really concerning because as was stated earlier, when this pandemic started to pick up its pace in March and April that was during the spring and most importantly, during the tail end of the then-current flu season. Now we're marching into this flu season with more cases than we had at that time, at that time it was approximately 30,000 cases and now we're seeing approximately 60,000 cases. So it's incredibly concerning and we have to remain very cautious to prevent battling simultaneous effects of the covid-19 virus as well as the influenza virus. Speaking of the flu season, flu activity has been low, it's early in the season and maybe because in some part people are social distancing, staying home, wearing masks, but what are your recommendations on when to get the flu vaccine and could we see a shortage this year? So, hopeful we're not going to see a shortage. I know that there is likely an increase in demand due to public health education. In terms of the flu vaccine and when to get it, my recommendation is get it as soon as possible. If you can get it, get it today, because it's never been more important. And a new CDC study highlights how minority and ethnic groups are disproportionately impacted by this virus. Some numbers that we wanted to put up on the screen -- from may to August, 51% of those who died from covid were white, 24% hispanic or Latino and nearly 19% were black. What are the implications of those findings? So, unfortunately, this data and this evidence does not -- makes us aware of a problem that we're all very well aware of which is that black and latinx communities are at increased rates of infection and at risk of death from covid-19. And we're also seeing these numbers in American Indian and alaskan native populations. A part of the reason why this continues to be is because the country is not doing the best job at handling this problem. Most specifically data. We're at shortage of data. As most states are not reporting test results as per -- by race and ethnicity, and this makes it exceptionally more and more difficult to identify vulnerable communities, where we can enact different changes in policy, care and supplies, so we need to focus on the data and make sure that we advocate for this data, because it's never been more important until this time. One of the disturbing trends, one of the many disturbing trends throughout the pandemic. Dr. Sutton, thanks for your time. We truly appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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