Health

Documents sound alarm over triple threat of RSV, flu and COVID as hospitals strain

Documents sound alarm over triple threat of RSV, flu and COVID as hospitals strain

Doctors were prepared for a bad flu season, but worried that a large number of viruses would hit children at once.

That’s on top of an already active flu season and the threat of COVID-19 as we head into the winter months.

The triple threat of the virus is especially worrying for parents who are worried about their children getting sick at daycare or school.

Doctors told WRAL News they are seeing an increase in RSV and flu cases at area hospitals like WakeMed. This is what they hope for uptick in cases it does not push the health system to capacity.

“It’s definitely a concern,” said one parent, Michelle Lion-Atkins. “You just can’t seem to get away from getting something.”

dr. David Weber of UNC Hospitals said that people with RSV can show symptoms similar to the common cold: fever, cough, fatigue and headache.

“We’re seeing significantly more children than we would expect at this time of year hospitalized for RSV, and we’ve also seen a few cases of influenza hospitalized,” Weber said.

Viruses such as RSV and influenza can be life-threatening for some children.

“Young children need to be careful with seizures due to high fever, which turns blue due to lack of oxygen,” Weber said. “Lethargy, poor eating.”

WakeMed reports 246 patients battling the flu, up from 130 cases two weeks ago. As for RSV, there are 183 cases.

Pre-Covid figures from previous years were around 80 cases per week.

Doctors at UNC Health have reported about 30 cases of the flu and about 200 cases of RSV.

WakeMed Hospital’s Jessica Dixon urged families to do their part to prevent the spread of the virus.

“I think we’re going to see these numbers continue to rise in the coming weeks and months,” Dixon said. “Anything you can do to keep sick kids at home is really important to keep your child away from other kids who are sick.”

Health experts told WRAL News that prevention measures are important, as there are currently no approved vaccines to protect against RSV.

Children 6 months and older can be vaccinated against influenza and COVID-19 at the same time. The new booster, which targets the original coronavirus and the infectious omicron variant, is available for children five years of age and older.



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