KANSAS CITY, Mo. –The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association are calling on the White House to declare a national emergency because of surging cases of RSV and influenza.
Children’s Mercy Hospital said it currently has no available beds to treat sick kids.
Children’s Mercy said it has more than 330 children in the hospital, including 15 kids who are waiting in the emergency department because there are no open beds.
The hospital said respiratory illnesses among kids continues to climb, with the number of children receiving hospital care for influenza doubling in the last couple of days.
There is a glimmer of good news. Doctors said the number of new RSV cases may have reached a plateau.
Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic burned out a lot of health care workers, and now surges of these other illnesses are prompting some to say that many kids are battling a “tripledemic.”
“A lot of kids are lighting up with multiple viruses on their panel,” said Dr. Jennifer Watts, chief emergency management officer of the children’s hospital.
“They are positive for multiple things. So when you hear things about the ‘tripledemic,’ all kinds of combinations, it’s certainly happening and we certainly do see it.”
An emergency declaration by the federal government would waive certain requirements so that hospitals and doctors can share resources in a coordinated effort to care for sick children. It also would open the door to emergency funding to keep up with the growing demands of supporting fewer health care workers.
As Thanksgiving approaches, doctors are continuing to urge parents of kids 6 months and older to get flu shots for their children, and encourage them to wash their hands frequently.
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