Pediatric respiratory illnesses on the rise in WNY

RSV cases at Oishei Children’s Hospital are usually not seen until November.

BUFFALO, NY — Children’s hospitals across the country are being pushed to their limits as COVID-19 cases in children hit an all-time high this weekend.

And here in Western New York, cases of childhood respiratory illness have been on the rise.

On Sunday, the pediatric chair and chief physician of Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester tweeted that his hospital was full. dr. Patrick Brophy said between respiratory viruses and COVID-19, the hospital was full and told people they could help staff by getting vaccinated.

Monday 2 On Your Side checked into the Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo to see how things are going. It is important to note that no children are currently admitted to Oishei with COVID-19. They’ve taken in two so far this month, but they didn’t require intensive care.

But that is not the case when it comes to RSV. To put things in perspective, from January to June, Oishei admitted an average of three patients per month with RSV, a common respiratory virus. Last month, that had risen to 46 patients. So far this month 51 patients. Those numbers are usually only seen in the peak cold and flu season in winter.

“Fortunately we are not full and we have enough capacity for children, but we are starting to see an increase in RSV. So for example the number of RSV cases that we have seen in the emergency room and in the emergency room has now surpassed what we had in August. We’re starting to see kids being admitted with it and we currently have four kids in the pediatric ICU admitted with RSV,” said Stephen Turkovich, MD, Chief Medical Officer.

dr. Turkovich says we usually don’t see those numbers here until mid-to-late November, so this could be the start of an RSV surge like we’re seeing in Rochester and other parts of the country.

So to stay healthy, here are the most important things you can do according to the Chief Medical Officer of Oishei Children’s Hospital. Of course, he says you should wash your hands regularly to protect yourself.

“And wear a mask. I know a lot of people don’t want to hear that. There’s a significant amount of mask fatigue out there, but it’s really proven that masking not only prevents COVID, but also RSV and other respiratory viruses. And the other The most important thing we do What we need to do to protect our children, especially those who are not eligible for the vaccine, is to get you vaccinated against COVID if you qualify,” said Dr. Turkovich.

Oishei is not full and still has enough capacity to take care of children who need to go to the hospital.

The hospital’s chief medical officer is also concerned about unvaccinated pregnant people.

“There have been some new studies that have come out recently, I think, already today showing that the risk of preterm birth, especially early preterm birth, is significantly increased if a woman were to get COVID while pregnant, so please if you are pregnant The best way to protect yourself and your baby is to get vaccinated,” says Dr. Turkovich.

If you need to get vaccinated, here’s a list of places where the vaccine is available.

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