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RSV cases continue to put strain on hospital systems across the state: 'They sent us home due to no beds'

At Children's Wisconsin, 46 patients with RSV were admitted this week. That's up from 14 from this time last year and up from 22 just a month ago.
Posted at 4:42 PM, Nov 17, 2022

MILWAUKEE — Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases continue to strain hospitals across the state. Emergency departments are busy as cases rise.

UW Health set a record with more than 350 patients in a single day coming in for RSV symptoms.

Children's Wisconsin has a high number of children hospitalized right now.

Local mom Dominique Hurt said it's been a difficult couple of months

"It's just a lot to deal with it, especially with three kids," said Hurt. "The sneezing, the coughing, the throwing up."

TMJ4's Ubah Ali met Hurt outside of Target. A trip she said she's made several times to get medicine for her children.

Hurt said her children ages 2, 4, and 5 have RSV, a respiratory virus impacting young children.

She took her children to the hospital several times but was sent home due to no beds being available.

"We just don't have the beds staff, nursing staff to really take care of everybody," said Dr. Gregory DeMuri, UW Health Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician.

DeMuri said about 1/3 of the beds at UW Health Kids Madison are taken up with RSV patients.

At Children's Wisconsin, just this week, 46 patients with RSV were admitted. That's up from 14 from this time last year and up from 22 just a month ago.

“Children’s Wisconsin continues to see high volumes in our Emergency Department, Primary Care and urgent care locations. Over the past week, we have seen a continued high number of children hospitalized with RSV. We anticipate this trend will continue over the next few weeks. We continue to manage capacity in the hospital on a case-by-case basis, allowing us to care for the sickest kids who need our specialized care.

Dr. Rainer Gedeit, Children’s Wisconsin Acting Chief Medical Officer

The good news, DeMuri said not all patients are being admitted or transferred to the intensive care unit.

"Most children with RSV don't need to see a doctor, they can be cared for at home," he said.

Washing hands, covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and keeping kids home when they're sick are recommended to stop the spread.

"I think the RSV epidemic that's going on will slow down in the next couple of months," DeMuri stated.

Health officials urge parents to stay vigilant as the holiday season approaches and influenza cases start to appear.

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