CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — There’s a rise in North Carolina cases of a new COVID variant. Duke University Doctors are seeing hospitalizations rise.

“This virus isn’t a seasonal virus like the flu is,” said David Montefiori, a professor at the Human Vaccine Institute at Duke University Medical Center.

Health experts at Duke University expressed concern that a rise in COVID hospitalizations points to a spike in cases come Fall.

“We still see COVID, and if you use today’s, at the moment, late Summer spike as a prediction of what may be to come, we typically see a larger spike come through December, January, February, and I currently don’t see why that would not be the case here.” Said Dr. Cameron Wolfe, an infectious disease specialist.

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have been increasing since late June with 493 admissions just last week in North Carolina.

Is COVID apathy to blame?

“I do have a lot more patients this beginning of cold and flu season that don’t seem as upset by the news that their illness is COVID or seem as distressed by it,” said Physician Assistant at Starmed Healthcare, Alicia Allman.

17% of Americans got the Bivalent booster shot. Doctors anticipate as immunization wanes, COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths will surge.

“We have 55% in the hospital a day,” Wolfe said. “Many, if not all of them, could have been avoided if we try and maintain their immunity. We still see people who die of COVID, and we should view that as unacceptable.”

The new COVID-19 vaccine booster could get the green light as early as Friday.