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A surge in RSV could be easing, but Kansas City hospitals are still filled with patients

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A young girl is seated looking downward, adult hands touch the child's head an hold a thermometer to her ear.jpg
Kelly Sikkema
On average, more than 2 million people are infected with RSV in the United States each year, with children under five years old and adults over 65 the most likely to be hospitalized.

Cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, have been surging among children in the Kansas City area and around the country. But locally, cases could start heading in the opposite direction.

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which impacts infants and young children at higher rates than other age groups, has brought some local hospitals to capacity in recent weeks.

"Based on the COVID pandemic change in the seasonality of our viruses, we had the early onset of RSV that coincided with an early onset of influenza and really tested our healthcare systems," says Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, an infectious disease specialist with Children's Mercy Hospital and dean of the UMKC School of Medicine.

The number of cases has plateaued over the last two weeks, Jackson says. But she adds that it's unusual to see a curb in RSV cases at this time of year, which is usually when this type of virus starts to surge.

"Hopefully, this will be on the downward turn," she says. "Having said that, we're still seeing lots of children with RSV. Lots of children with influenza and still some children with COVID and other viruses."

  • Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, dean of UMKC School of Medicine, infectious disease specialist at Children's Mercy Hospital
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