From Kimberly Chavalas Cripe, CHOC’s president & CEO:
Like other hospitals across the country, CHOC is currently seeing a record-setting number of patients in our emergency departments, as well as a high number of hospitalizations.
The influx of patients is due to a spike in respiratory viruses in children. Predominantly, we are seeing children with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhino/enterovirus and influenza.
RSV can affect people of all ages but usually acts like a common cold for healthy, older children and adults. However, for premature infants and immunocompromised babies and children, as well as older adults, RSV can make them very sick and sometimes require hospitalization.
Here is what you can do to protect your children, loved ones and the community at large against these viruses:
- stay home if sick;
- wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor areas;
- wash hands well and often; and
- get every eligible member in your household vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19.
We understand having a sick child can be scary for parents and knowing where to go for care can be confusing. You should bring your child to the emergency department if they are very sick. For routine illnesses, such as a cold or a sore throat, the pediatrician’s office or an urgent care center may be more appropriate.
To help you navigate these decisions, we have a helpful guide on the homepage of our website at www.choc.org. There, you will also find helpful information about RSV and the flu.
Additionally, our free nurse helpline, 1-844-GET-CHOC, is open 8:00 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday – Friday to address questions about children and RSV.
Thank you for your trust in CHOC. It’s our privilege to care for your family.