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Holiday RSV concerns increase; health officials urge extra caution

With RSV still on the rise, health officials are warning people to take extra precautions when gathering with family this holiday season.

NEW YORK — The holiday season is here and as families look to gather and break bread, health officials are sounding the alarm, asking Americans to be extra careful as RSV numbers continue to skyrocket

"If your child is sick, it’s important to just stay home. RSV is an illness that affects small children, but, it also affects old people. it can make older people seriously ill." That's from Joan Zoltanski, Chief Medical Officer with USCF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. 

According to the CDC, RSV hospitalization rates have gone down, but, are still more than double, this year compared to 2021. Most people do recover in a week or two, but, the virus can be serious for the most vulnerable population and some doctors say the science hasn't quite caught up.  

Amesh Adalja with Johns Hopkins Help Security adds, "There’s always going to be some level of risk for Thanksgivings in the future, but thanks to medicine and science, we made covid a much more manageable risk and we’ve got tools for influenza. eventually, we will have tools for RSV, just not this season.” 

With the influx of patients due to covid, the flu, and RSV, hospitals are being forced to create "flexible" spaces, or tents, to deal with the overflow. Despite the warnings, some people say they can't let another virus stop them from living. One person told a FOX reporter that the threat of covid and RSV have not changed their Thanksgiving plans, and they are willing to take their chances.

Pediatricians have called on President Biden for an emergency declaration to help hospitals with these multiple crises.

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