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Washoe County Has High Rate of Respiratory Illness

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, December 15, 2022 11:36 am

WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. (775 Times, NV Globe) – Washoe County Health District officials said the number of flu and RSV cases is unusually high for this time of year.

They reported an additional 211 RSV cases being registered, for a total of 1,224 RSV cases since October, an increase from previous year. They claim that RSV in Washoe County is three times greater than in the rest of the state… and officials are seeing twice as many instances statewide as in 2021.

Officials also stated that the pressures of RSV and other respiratory infections are wreaking havoc on our hospitals’ emergency departments and pediatric care units. They advise calling your physician before going to the emergency department if you suspect your kid has RSV or any respiratory ailment. “It’s still strongly suggested that you contact your physician if you suspect your kid has RSV, and if respiratory symptoms persist, consider coming to the ER,” says Kevin Dick, the District Health Officer for Washoe County.

Officials with the Health District also claim that the increase in RSV infections this season is related to what they term immunity debt. Children are often exposed to RSV throughout their first two years of life, and RSV is commonly distributed in the general community, they say.

It is said that when we are exposed to diseases, we build immunity. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer individuals were exposed to infections such as RSV, resulting in an increase in instances. According to wastewater statistics, there is also a rise in COVID-19 instances; however, recorded cases are incomplete since more people are now doing COVID-19 tests at home.

They revealed that the seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases is currently 55, down from 67 instances last week.

Officials also said that the bivalent vaccination for children aged 6 months and up has been licensed and will be accessible next Monday. Kevin Dick elaborates on the new vaccine approval, saying, “Now that it’s approved, we’re no longer allowed to administer the monovalent vaccination now that the bivalent vaccine is accessible.”

Officials urge everyone to stay vigilant about respiratory infection prevention, especially while traveling. They recommend obtaining the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations this Christmas season as a preventative strategy.

Credits: 2News

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