RSV virus outbreak affecting local children

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kids two-year-old and under are flooding at least one area hospital with RSV.

"Me personally, I've seen probably 100 cases," said Dr. Michael Fisher, with the University of Kansas Hospital. "It's a national outbreak."

According to the CDC, cases in our region have spiked in the last several weeks higher than the year before. RSV isn't new but so many kids are coming into the hospital, staff members are having a hard time finding space for all the new patients.

Patients like Eli, a three-year-old who is all too used to the pediatric wing. He has Mitochondrial disease and just finished battling RSV.

His mom Heather Tomkins knew it wasn't a typical cold when he got so sick so quickly.

"It came on pretty strong," she said.

Fisher said parents should keep their kids hydrated, keep their noses clean and watch carefully for any labored breathing or coughing. Fevers in kids older than six months might just mean a trip to the doctor, but if the fever is paired with breathing problems, get them to see a doctor immediately.

Cases like Eli's can turn to bacterial pneumonia, Fisher warned. That's what makes this virus so dangerous and possibly deadly.

Eli is in and out of so many doctor's offices and hospitals that Tomkins said it is hard to tell where he got it, even though they are so careful.

"He always wears a mask when he's not at home but since the RSV, we're having visitors to our home wear masks, too," she said.

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