NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The surge of sick kids in Hampton Roads continues and doctors don’t see it getting better anytime soon.
“We’re seeing twice as many people in the ED, twice as many people in the urgent care than we usually do … and that’s been for the last month,” Dr. John Harrington, the vice president of quality/safety and clinical integration at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, told WAVY.
Doctors at CHKD expect to see another surge after the holidays, and high case counts throughout the winter.
“It’ll slow down eventually I’m sure, but I think we’re dealing with two to three years of backup of viruses because we all wore the masks and kids weren’t exposed,” Harrington said.
It’s basically like everyone is back in daycare he explained. “Generally, we say throughout the winter your child will be sick for one to two weeks for each virus, and they usually get five to six viruses,” he said.
Now that they can test for more viruses, many children are coming up positive for more than one, for instance, flu and rhinovirus, or RSV and flu.
Dr. Harrington said those kids maybe a little sicker. “Those are studies to be done because I think a lot of people haven’t looked at that,” he told WAVY.
If your child just has a runny nose and cough but no fever, Harrington advises you should probably avoid urgent care. “It’s gonna maybe backfire cause now you’re going to get exposed to other people.”
You should go to the emergency department if your child has difficulty breathing or if they have a high fever: that’s 100.4 or higher for a baby 3 months old or younger, and 104 degrees for children of any age.
Most kids can be treated at home with lots of fluids and rest. The best medicine is prevention, Dr. Harrington says. That includes: getting your flu and COVID vaccines, frequent hand washing, and covering your cough.