LOCAL NEWS

Virus puts ‘even greater strain’ on hospitals, officials warn

Oct 27, 2022, 3:56 PM
rsv...
Cerri McKeon held her two-month-old daughter, Eden Smith while Dr. Vainio, MD took notes and he asked about her respiratory symptoms. Smith was tested for the flu, COVID-19 and RSV. The flu results came back negative and it will be a few days before the other results come back. The Min No Aya Win clinic on the Fond Du Lac reservation has seen a small amount of patients on a daily basis as they prepare for a wave of COVID-19 cases to hit their area. (Photo by Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

The State Health Department has now confirmed that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — a common respiratory virus that affects children — is having an impact on local hospitals.

“Hospitals are already at high capacity and very stressed. And when you add in complications by an early and severe season of highly contagious respiratory viruses, that puts an even greater strain on the system,” nurse Sparrow Helland, the assistant nurse manager of the Pediatric Clinic at Harborview. “We’re hearing that most pediatric sites such as Seattle Children’s Hospital and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital are seeing record high emergency department volumes due to RSV and emergency other respiratory viruses.”

Some people are asking how to tell if their child has the respiratory illness.

There are a variety of symptoms, but the most common are difficulty breathing and a loss of appetite, specifically among infants.

“Pale (skin) is an early warning sign, so if you’re noticing that your child’s color is off, that means to get help,” said Helland. “Some things that would lead us to believe they need a (hospital) admission are high fever, lethargy, difficulty breathing, oxygen need, the inability to maintain their hydration or keeping up with their mealtimes. Also, if their urine output is decreased. Those are all concerns.”

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a common infection in the respiratory system that is the single most common cause of preparatory hospitalization in infants, and often causes bronchitis and pneumonia.

What’s behind worrying RSV surge in US children’s hospitals?

Helland said that they have been receiving many calls from families concerned about RSV at unusually high volume. Normally this time of year, there would be three or fewer, but in the past week, there have been nearly 90 positive cases.

Most infections do resolve themselves without medical intervention in about a week or two. Still, for kids with underlying lung or cardiovascular problems, the illness can become more serious.

Dr. Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, Chief Science Officer of the Washington Department of Health, warns that hospitals, which have already been struggling with keeping up with surges of COVID-19 infections and the normal increase in warm weather injuries, the new infection could continue to cause backups.

You can talk to your child’s primary care provider if they start to develop symptoms, but most cases can be treated at home.

Local News

world cup...
Frank Sumrall

Where to watch the World Cup: A guide to local soccer pubs

Now its time to support them by touring the best soccer bars in the region, all open for the match against the Netherlands.
1 day ago
Seattle likes Taylor Swift songs...
Micki Gamez

Seattle’s most downloaded songs and artists may surprise you

Newly released Spotify data says Taylor Swift is Seattle's most downloaded and listened to artist of the year 2022.
1 day ago
Stevens Pass skiing...
Heather Bosch

Stevens Pass vows to do better during this ski and snowboard season

The Stevens Pass Ski resort is open and it's under pressure to show skiers and snowboarders it has changed for the better.
1 day ago
Sunken ship Pacific...
Feliks Banel

Sunken ship lost 150 years ago, found off WA coast

The wreck of a sunken ship off the coast of Washington nearly 150 years ago has been found by a pair of maritime historians.
1 day ago
Puget Sound snow...
Bill Kaczaraba

Some snow into the Puget Sound region overnight

Friday snow is always a little bit different than Monday through Thursday snow. Friday snow is generally part of the holiday wonder.
1 day ago
human caused...
L.B. Gilbert

Small Business Administration offers disaster relief after Bolt Creek Fire

The SBA announced Thursday that they would be offering disaster relief loans to businesses impacted by the Bolt Creek Fire.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Virus puts ‘even greater strain’ on hospitals, officials warn