NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The early surge of RSV is continuing to fill hospital beds in North Texas.
Emergency rooms and urgent care facilities across the metroplex are overwhelmed with children with the respiratory illness.
"If you look at it compared to last year, we're about four times as many positive tests as we had last year at this time," said Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, chief of infectious diseases at Children's Health.
According to the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, 94.5% of pediatric beds in Trauma Service E – which covers 19 counties in North Texas, including Dallas and Tarrant – are occupied right now.
"It's very, very difficult," Dr. Kahn said. "Obviously, this is putting stress on all healthcare systems."
Dr. Kahn is concerned about what the next few weeks will look like with the historic numbers of RSV coupled with an uptick in flu cases.
Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth has been so overwhelmed with patients it activated an emergency status last week to bring in extra help.
"We've never seen anything like this, but it may go on for quite some time," said Dr. Kahn. "So we're all going to have to address this new reality."
Dr. Kahn says any parent who has a child they think needs immediate medical attention should take them to the emergency room, but if your child has minor symptoms, monitor them closely and give your pediatrician a call instead.
"This is a very, very important time to really sort of go back to the things that helped us early in the pandemic," he said. "Social distancing, masking, hand washing, and just being wise about where you are and where you're taking your children."
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