Update for Nov. 21: RSV Decreases While Flu Continues to Increase
Cook Children's Health Care System continues to see a high number of cases of respiratory illnesses, which is impacting our ability to care for our patients in a timely manner. Here is an update on RSV and flu data.
The Cook Children's Health Care System census is full across the board, including beds, the Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centers. The sheer volume has made finding a bed for our patients a daily logistical puzzle.
In the last 24 hours, 487 patients went to the Emergency Department, which is equivalent to one check in every 2 minutes. This is causing long wait times (8-10 hours) for patients to be transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and is putting unnecessary strain on the health care system.
Across our seven Urgent Care Centers, there were 763 patients on Friday, 668 patients on Saturday and 754 patients on Sunday. Cook Children’s has expedited our winter staffing plan in preparation for peak flu season.
We ask parents and caregivers to contact their pediatrician first if it’s not a moderate or severe illness or injury. Other hospitals and children's hospitals around the country are also experiencing high number of RSV and respiratory illnesses.
RSV cases at Cook Children’s Health Care System:
Oct. 2 – Oct 8: 210 cases (24% positivity rate)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: 288 cases (29% positivity rate)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: 246 cases (24% positivity rate)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: 263 cases (23% positivity rate)
Oct. 30 - Nov. 5: 337 cases (23% positivity rate)
Nov. 6 - Nov. 12: 342 cases (19% positivity rate)
Nov. 13 - Nov. 19: 267 cases (15% positivity rate)
Positive Influenza A cases at Cook Children’s Health Care System:
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: 47 cases
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: 75 cases
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: 170 cases (14.6% positivity rate)
Oct. 30- Nov. 5: 333 cases (22.6% positivity rate)
Nov. 6 - Nov. 12: 483 cases (27.5% positivity rate)
Nov. 13 - Nov. 19: 630 cases (35.4% positivity rate)
Urgent Care Centers
If your child is ill, please contact your pediatrician's office first if it’s not a moderate or severe illness or injury. If you can’t get to your provider’s office or it’s after hours, go to an urgent care center. Urgent care centers manage the same problems as your regular health care provider plus services such as X-rays, stitches and splints.
Understand that kids with more severe issues will be seen first and that means long wait times for those with minor illness. Staff are overwhelmed and they’re encountering a lot of frustrated parents. Please be nice to the people working – they need kindness!
Bring your child to the emergency room if they have trouble breathing, unusual sleepiness or confusion, poison ingestion, head injury with vomiting, serious burn or another life-threatening condition. Please understand that kids with more severe issues will be seen first and that means long wait times for those with minor illnesses.
Call your pediatrician first if children are experiencing mild symptoms or injuries (ear pain, sore throat, diarrhea or vomiting, rash, cough or other non-urgent health concerns). The pediatrician’s office can help you decide what steps to take.
As we prepare for the flu season to worsen, make an appointment with your pediatrician to get updated flu and COVID vaccines. Vaccines help prevent infection and can prevent serious outcomes in people who are vaccinated but still get sick with the flu. The vaccines also reduce the risk of hospitalization.
The increase in RSV and influenza began much earlier than usual this year, but we have yet to reach peak flu season. With Thanksgiving approaching, we want to help parents understand what they can do to prevent the spread of illnesses.
As we prepare for the flu season to worsen, make an appointment with your pediatrician to get updated flu and COVID vaccines. Vaccines help prevent infection and can prevent serious outcomes in people who are vaccinated but still get sick with the flu. The vaccines also reduce the risk of hospitalization. Get updated flu and COVID vaccines – these will help prevent infection and reduce the risk of hospitalization. You can call your pediatrician to schedule an appointment to receive vaccinations.
Remind your children to continue the healthy habits learned in the pandemic, including hand hygiene, coughing into a tissue or your elbow and staying home if you or your child feel sick.
There is a nationwide shortage of RSV tests. RSV testing doesn’t change the way in which most children are treated/managed.
About Cook Children's
Cook Children’s Health Care System embraces an inspiring Promise – to improve the health of every child through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re proud of our long and rich tradition of serving our community. Our not-for-profit organization is comprised of nine companies, including our Medical Center, Physician Network, Home Health company, Northeast Hospital, Pediatric Surgery Center, Health Plan, Health Services Inc., Child Study Center and Health Foundation. With more than 60 primary, specialty and urgent care locations throughout Texas, families can access our top-ranked specialty programs and network of services to meet the unique needs of their child. For 100 years, we’ve worked to improve the health of children from across our primary service area of Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties. We combine the art of caring with leading technology and extraordinary collaboration to provide exceptional care for every child. This has earned Cook Children’s a strong, far-reaching reputation with patients traveling from around the country and the globe to receive life-saving pediatric care. For more information, visit cookchildrens.org.