Respiratory Illness Continues to Severely Impact Hospitals, Now Whatcom Stores Also Experiencing Shortages of Kids’ Fever Medications
Two weeks ago we sent out a message to let you know that we’re seeing a large increase in respiratory sickness affecting kids - especially a virus called RSV. Hospital capacity has only gotten worse since then, and now we are also hearing about shortages of several prescription and over-the-counter drugs for children.
Whatcom residents are being seen in emergency rooms for respiratory illnesses at the highest rate we have ever seen, and our kids are being hospitalized at a rate that is four times higher than we have seen in at least the last five years. Hospitals across Washington are at or beyond pediatric bed capacity right now, and we’re asking you to please do everything you can to prevent and reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses so we can reduce the strain on our hospitals and healthcare providers, and keep our children healthy.
“We're again in a situation where there might not be enough hospital beds for those who need care, and this is especially concerning when we consider very young, critically ill children,” said Dr. Amy Harley, co-health officer for the Whatcom County Health Department. "By following common sense prevention measures you, your family, and even your friends and neighbors can help make sure hospitals have beds for sick kids who need them.”
What you can do
All the prevention measures that we’ve gotten good at to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also work to prevent the spread of other respiratory illnesses like RSV, whooping cough, and the flu.
Visit the Please Keep Your Child Home webpage from Bellingham Schools for more guidance on when kids should stay home.