WASHINGTON D.C. — RSV cases are surging nationwide as millions are preparing to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.
It’s a common respiratory virus and for the most part RSV is mild, but it can cause serious lung infections.
Currently, the latest federal data shows more than three-quarters of pediatric hospital beds are in use mostly because of respiratory illnesses.
Unlike the flu and COVID-19, there’s no vaccine for it.
Now the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association say they need more support. They want the President to declare a national emergency.
“We have resources, and we have a history of being able to deploy these resources,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General.
Dr. Murthy told the Washington News Bureau that the federal government is monitoring the surge and checking in with local health officials.
“We’re working closely with them to understand where the stress points are, and where additional help is needed. Just as we did over the last couple of years during COVID, we will then surge people where needed equipment from our strategic national stockpile like ventilators, and masks and gloves where it’s needed,” said Dr. Murthy.
He said families can also take some preventive measures as they travel this week. Things like wearing masks and staying home if you’re sick.
“It’s also essential that people know that hand washing, you know is sort of common places that may seem it is one of the strategies that helps to work with common respiratory viruses like RSV,” said Murthy.
For COVID-19, the White House says more than 32 million people got their updated vaccine ahead of this holiday.
“If we get people vaccinated for COVID and for flu, we can reduce the likelihood that people get severely ill that they will end up in the hospital that will help relieve a lot of this stress in the hospital system,” said Dr. Murthy.
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