HONOLULU (KHON2) — Maui Memorial Medical Center is seeing patients testing positive for two of three respiratory illnesses like COVID, Flu and RSV at the same time. However, the Hawaii Department of Health has not detected any tri-demic cases so far.
“Symptoms are similar to other respiratory viruses hence the importance of testing for a child that’s more severely ill, but RSV might have a little more tendency to cause wheezing,” said Dr. Sarah Kemble, Department of Health Epidemiologist.
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That uncertainty is what the Bush family recently experienced. They thought their 7-week-old baby caught a cold, she got tested for COVID and the Flu, which came back negative, but the baby’s mother knew something wasn’t right.
“I took her back to the ER and as I was talking to the doctor, she turned blue again, like purple,” said Veronica Bush, “That’s when he said let me expedite these results and she came back positive for RSV.”
Honolulu EMS has responded to 117 calls from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31 for respiratory cases for patients 13 and younger. Their symptoms included shortness of breath, asthma, coughing and fever.
The Healthcare Association of Hawaii reports that hospitals are busy with RSV patients, but they’re managing well. It’s the emergency rooms and pediatric clinics that are seeing a spike in patients five and younger.
“If they are very concerned if the child has difficulty breathing or the child can’t keep down fluids or food then they may need to visit an emergency room.”
The Health Department said RSV testing isn’t always necessary and most people can recover at home. They suggest testing for young children and nursing home residents.
The Bush’s are urging other parents to be aware of the risks of RSV.
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“You got to stay calm and get the baby to breathe like a pat on the back. Put them in CPR position, just making sure the baby gets to breathe again, but definitely be aware of the symptoms,” Bush said.