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Kansas City sees a rise in respiratory illness: 'We need people to take this seriously'

A young girl is seated looking downward, adult hands touch the child's head an hold a thermometer to her ear.jpg
Kelly Sikkema
An early onset of the common childhood illness RSV, combined with multiple other viruses circulating, could land more children in the doctor's office this cold and flu season.

Commonly diagnosed in children, RSV began circulating early this year. With multiple viruses spreading at once, one doctor has a reminder about the importance of vaccines.

Cases of flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, commonly referred to as RSV, were lower during the height of the pandemic. But now COVID-19, RSV and influenza are all circulating in the United States, along with other viruses.

"There are two different influenza strains circulating and the vaccine covers four," said infectious disease expert Dr. Mary Anne Jackson. "We need people to take this seriously and actually go out and get vaccinated."

Jackson joined Up To Date to discuss the rise in respiratory illnesses, what symptoms to look for and how it's affecting local health care facilities.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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