Child Illness Surge Strains Hospitals, Parents
Hospitals and parents are being strained by an outbreak of the child illness known as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), in addition to seasonal flu cases and continued COVID-19 infections.
Key Quotes: Parents are happily sending kids back to school while "discounting influenza, RSV, rhinovirus, all the other pieces that fit to this respiratory illness puzzle," said Jackie Follansbee, a school nurse in Washington state.
For Context: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data suggest that infants 6 months and younger are being hospitalized with RSV roughly seven times more than they were pre-COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, RSV has been one of the most common viruses found in children, but this year's outbreak has alarmed some doctors enough for them to call on the Biden Administration to declare a national health emergency. That declaration would provide more federal resources to combat the RSV surge, similar to those provided during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How The Media Covered it: Right-rated sources focused more on how the Biden Administration hasn't declared a national emergency. Left- and center-rated outlets tended to focus more on the challenges facing hospitals, parents, and sick children. Reports across the spectrum highlighted experts who suggested that COVID-19 lockdowns made children more susceptible to infections.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the CenterHow Sick Is Too Sick for School? RSV, Flu and Colds Strain Parents and School Nurses
Tensions are rising between parents and school nurses over children showing up to school with coughs, colds and symptoms of viral infections.
Levels of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, influenza, and other respiratory viruses are surging early this year. The flood is straining school nurses and creating tough decisions for parents, who worry about children missing instruction and balancing job demands with child care. School nurses are pushing back, sending sick children home and reminding families about illness guidelines.
Some parents are sending children to school sick or returning them too quickly after...
From the RightBiden administration continues to dodge calls from pediatric doctors to declare RSV outbreak a national health emergency
As the outbreak of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) continues to strain pediatric hospital beds across the country, the Biden administration continues to dodge calls from the medical community to declare the outbreak a national health emergency that would provide them with additional resources to battle the outbreak similar to those that were provided during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
RSV has historically been one of the most common viruses to infect children, and health experts say that almost all children are infected with it at least once before...
From the LeftTheir preemie was already a fighter. Then at 3 weeks old, she caught the virus that’s packing hospitals across the US
As Abhishesh Pokharel carried his 3-week-old daughter into the emergency department, her fingers and toes were turning blue.
Other parts of her tiny body were yellow.
Something was very wrong.
The triage nurse at Greater Baltimore Medical Center knew it, too. She took one look at baby Ayra and gave her father an order:
Across the building he sped, his wife right behind him – to the pediatric emergency department.
By then, Ayra was sometimes not breathing at all, clinicians later told CNN.
The rapid response team went to work....