KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The number of metro children diagnosed with RSV or flu climbs as parents struggle to find a clinic or pediatrician with open appointments.

Children’s Mercy Hospital says it tested 508 children for RSV last week. Of those tested, 247 were diagnosed with the respiratory virus. The prior week 153 children tested positive for RSV at the hospital.

While the hospital said the number of RSV cases have steadily increased over the past month, it’s not the only illness impacting Kansas City right now.

The flu season has also officially arrived.

Children’s Mercy tested 1070 kids for flu last week with 258 testing positive. That is up from 53 cases the previous week.

Experts say the flu virus is hitting Kansas City earlier than in past years and is adding to the strain hospitals and clinics face.

Children’s Mercy’s Urgent Care and Emergency Departments are seeing longer-than-normal wait times for families because of all the illness according to the hospital. Many parents are also having trouble getting in to see a pediatrician because the offices are also booked with sick kids.

Children’s Mercy says parents who have questions and can’t get in to see a doctor, can call the Children’s Mercy Nurse Advice Line at 816-234-3188. Parents are also able to go online and request a call back from a nurse.

Doctors say there are also steps everyone can take to help prevent the flu and RSV from spreading to even more people.

The steps are exactly what everyone did to prevent the spread of COVID-19 the past two winters:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean doorknobs, car handles, phones and keys often
  • Stay home and isolate if you are sick

Children’s Mercy doctors say the flu season is expected to be a strong one, and recommend getting a flu shot.

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