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Texas reports spike in number of kids treated for flu, RSV

Houston, Nov 3 (IANS) Hospitals in Texas are reporting an influx of children infected with flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other illnesses, a local media report said.

More than 500 children were treated in just a 24-hour period on Tuesday at the emergency room of Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Xinhua news agency quoted the NBC News report as saying on Wednesday.

Much of the same is happening at hospitals across northern Texas, said Stephen Love, president and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council.

However, many patients visiting the emergency departments were treated as an outpatient and returned home. Only patients severely ill with flu or other illnesses were hospitalised, said Love.

Currently 88 per cent of paediatric beds across the state are occupied, and in northern Texas, that number is at 95 per cent, reveals data from the Texas Hospital Association.

In comparison, Covid-19 cases now only account for less than 2 per cent of the overall bed capacity in northern Texas.

“Currently Covid has a very manageable level,” Love said. “Our paediatrics in the hospital with Covid is in single digits.”

He added that it doesn’t mean people aren’t getting infected with Covid-19, but many are being infected and staying at home.

The big surge in RSV cases at this season is thought too early and unusual since the disease is usually seen in deep winter and early spring, said the report, noting that doctors are concerned it could get worse.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RSV results in around 58,000 annual hospitalizations, and 100 to 300 deaths among children under five each year in the US.

–IANS

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