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Local hospitals are at capacity as cases of RSV and other viruses rise


Tucson, Arizona (KOLD News 13) – The number of RSV cases is eight times the five-year average in Pima County. RSV is a respiratory virus that usually affects young children most and can be a super-spreader in places such as schools and day care centers.

This year has already been a very bad one for RSV and local hospitals are feeling the effects.

Many are concerned that RSV cases will rise again over the upcoming holidays. Overall, however, there are concerns about the availability of pediatric beds due to the limited number of beds. Banner is currently at capacity for pediatric beds.

“We’re moving patients as quickly as we can. We’ve got patients in the emergency room, too,” said Dr. Chan Lowe, director of medicine at Banner UMC’s Children’s Hospital.

Now hospitals in southern Arizona are working to stay above water.

“We’re seeing a ton of referrals coming into town from all over southern Arizona, so we’re trying to take patients in, get them better, and get them home as soon as possible,” Rowe said.

There is a historic influx of respiratory diseases such as COVID, influenza, and RSV. COVID and influenza have true and proven vaccines and drugs, but RSV is another story.

“Unfortunately, there are no good drugs to help RSV improve faster, so in that regard, we are limited by the lack of available drugs,” he explained.

Although RSV is rarely fatal, it is highly contagious. Schools and nurseries can be places of super spreaders.

“I see a lot of families actually because they say daycares are closed, especially those going to larger centers, which spread very quickly,” says Rosalind, co-director of Trusting Connections and Timeless Play. Prather said.

At Trusting Connections, with so many children getting sick and parents still having to work, more families are using nannies. There is also Timeless Play, which is similar to a daycare service. They are ramping up cleaning efforts and mitigation strategies to keep RSV and other viruses at bay.

“We’ve been really lucky. It’s not that it hasn’t affected us.

Staff are also required to wash and sanitize their hands every 30 minutes in case germs are introduced.

There is no vaccine for RSV, so washing your hands often and staying home when sick are the only things you can do to protect yourself, your children and your community from infection.




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