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As flu and RSV spread, health officials want government to declare an emergency

Modern medical person
Posted at 2:54 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 19:28:58-05

Flu and RSV continue to spread rapidly across the country. The rate of transmission for both viruses is up from 2021.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported Friday that 5.8% of all visits to healthcare facilities this week were for respiratory illnesses.

The flu is responsible for an estimated 38,000 hospitalizations and 2,100 deaths this season, the CDC reported. There have been seven pediatric deaths in the 2022-2023 season, according to the CDC.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Association wants the federal government to declare a national emergency to free up more funds and resources to respond to the illnesses.

“President Biden and Secretary Becerra have been invaluable leaders to children’s hospitals across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we implore them to renew their commitment to pediatric health care and give us the resources necessary to control the ongoing RSV and flu surge with the continuing children’s mental health emergency,” said Children's Hospital Association CEO Mark Wietecha. “Our system is stretched to its limit and without immediate attention the crisis will only worsen.”

CNBC reports that a spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department said it's supporting local governments in need, and will declare a national public health emergency if it's necessary based on countrywide data.