KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children’s Mercy Hospital says it is concerned about the number of children hospitalized because of RSV and the flu.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone age 6 months and older should be vaccinated against the flu this year.
The CDC says the cumulative hospitalization rate is the highest it’s been at this point in the flu season since 2010. RSV and COVID-19 cases are also increasing.
At Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital, medical staff has been treating RSV and flu cases since October. Doctors say flu hit the metro much earlier than it normally does.
Doctors are laying out their plan to help keep children healthy through the winter months, which includes getting vaccinated, if they’re old enough, and wearing a mask in public.
Health experts say almost all children get RSV at least once before the age of two. They also say RSV impacts normally healthy children much like a cold.
There is a risk of some children getting very sick from the virus. With the flu hitting the metro earlier than normal, doctors are worried they won’t have enough resources to treat everyone.
Children’s Mercy Hospital says doctors meet daily to discuss the best way to balance available staff with the number of patients hospitalized.
“We have activated our emergency plans. We activated those a few weeks back. We continue to find overflow spaces. We continue to develop creative ways in order to take care of kids. We are making plans in order to address these issues, but it certainly is concerning watching those numbers rise,” Dr. Jennifer Watts, Chief Emergency Management Medical Officer, said.
Doctors say to watch children for signs of fever, body aches, and congestion.
They also say it’s important to continue to wash hands with soap and water, covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and stay home and isolate if you aren’t feeling well.
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