Wichita hospitals yet to see peak in RSV cases

Wichita hospitals continue to see a rise in RSV cases, facing a challenge with a situation especially impacting children that has yet to hit its peak locally.
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 10:48 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita hospitals continue to see an increase of RSV cases, facing a challenge with a situation especially impacting children that has yet to hit its peak locally.

“A lot of local kids, a lot of state kids coming in requiring care. It’s a lot of things,” said Ascension Via Christi Pediatrician Dr. Amy Seery about the continued spread of RSV and the strain it’s put on pediatric units.

Dr. Seery and Dr. Stephanie Kuhlmann, pediatric medical director at Wesley Medical Center, lead their respective hospitals’ pediatric units. Both doctors say RSV cases may be peaking nationally, but that’s not happening yet in Wichita.

“We had a very sharp, rapid rise in our percent positive of PCR testing for RSV that’s kind of maybe plateaued a bit,” Dr. Seery said. “We’ll need a few more weeks to really know, have we peaked, have we fully plateaued, are we coming down? As people keep mixing for the holiday season, it will make it harder for us to kind of get through these viruses.”

Signs to look out for when it comes to RSV in children include congestion, cough, runny nose, wheezing and more.

Doctors Seery and Kuhlmann also advise for parents to pay attention to their children’s eyes. If they’re ill and look tired or aren’t making eye contact with you, they say it could be time for you to bring them to the hospital. Both say their pediatric units are near capacity and other viruses are now impacting bed space.

“The main change that we’re seeing is more cases of influenza being hospitalized,” Dr. Kuhlmann said.

Both doctors say washing hands, wearing masks around crowds and vaccines can help bring their numbers down.