First pediatric flu death of 2022 season in Arizona; doctors warn of RSV, COVID too

First pediatric flu death of 2022 season in Arizona; doctors warn of RSV, COVID too
First pediatric flu death of 2022 season in Arizona; doctors warn of RSV, COVID too

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — As loved ones gather today to celebrate the holiday, doctors in Arizona warn of the rapid spread of viruses. Arizona experienced its first pediatric flu death of the 2022 season this week. Some worry about a triple epidemic. A combination of flu, RSV and COVID-19 is spreading this season and doctors say parents need to remain vigilant and step up their preventative measures. “Every year we unfortunately have deaths from the flu,” said Dr. Gary Kirkilas of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Doctors are sounding the alarm, saying it’s not just one virus parents need to watch out for this year, but three. “These viruses, COVID, RSV, flu are unfortunately part of our season now,” Kirkilas said.

He says cases of these viruses are increasing rapidly in Arizona hospitals. “For the most part, children who catch them will have mild symptoms. They will have a runny nose, cough and fever,” Kirkilas said.

While most children recover, it’s not an easy road for other children. “But unfortunately there is always a smaller subset that requires hospitalization. These are usually younger children under the age of 2 or especially under the age of one. But it can happen to any child. Fortunately, it’s a smaller subset that requires hospitalization and an even smaller subset that will pass as a result of these infections,” Kirkilas said.

“If RSV is present, it’s really hard to avoid,” said Will Humble of the Arizona Public Health Administration. He added that while RSV may not be preventable, COVID-19 and influenza are. “Just get your child vaccinated. It’s one of the most frustrating things I’ve seen in my entire career. Watching COVID-19 have another wave, having a whole new vaccine that targets the new variants of the virus, and then finding out that only 11% of Arizonans got that vaccine,” Humble said.

He says both vaccines are readily available at local pharmacies and pediatricians’ offices. “It can save a loved one’s life or your own,” Humble said. Doctors also recommend washing your hands thoroughly and cleaning toys and surfaces regularly.

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. First death pediatric due flu season Arizona doctors put guard against VRS COVID also

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