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3 Kansas City-area mothers share experience with RSV, flu amid recent spike in cases

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Posted at 4:26 PM, Dec 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-02 19:22:32-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children’s health experts continue to warn parents about the rise in respiratory syncytial virus and flu cases.

KSHB 41 talked to three local mothers who shared what it was like to take care of their sick children amid the recent spike.

Bailey Keele is still a mourning mother after she lost her seven-week-old daughter last year to RSV.

That is why she was terrified when she found herself at the hospital once again, this time for her newborn Jeremiah, who contracted that same virus from her three-year-old toddler, Ava.

“They almost immediately admitted him, and he had been on oxygen and IV for three days,” Keele said. “I had nothing but anxiety. I didn’t know if I was gonna lose another child, or if I was gonna keep him with me, so it was absolutely scary.”

Along with a spike in RSV cases, health experts warn this season will be coupled with the flu. Or in Tiffany Price’s case, a similar undiagnosed virus that swept through her four boys.

“One of them was coughing, one of them was throwing up, one of them body was hurting and he couldn’t move, so I was like what in the world,” Price said. “They temperatures stayed between 100 and 103. Like nothing was working to get them to break. It would go down but then it would go right back up. It was horrible."

She says the unknown was the scary part, especially for her son with asthma.

“I spent over $100 on medication, and that was a hit," Price said. "That was a hard hit cause that was Thanksgiving food money."

Chera Hishaw, a mother and an educator, thought her daughter Elliana was dealing with allergies or COVID-19 before ever suspecting the flu.

Doctors initially thought it was a sinus infection, but the antibiotics did not work.

“She just really was not getting better, to a point where she said ‘Mommy, I need help,'” Hishaw said. “Elliana had become so lethargic that she was out of it. Dizzy, she was unable to stop crying coming in and out of being awake, and so they tested her for flu and she tested positive for strain A.”

The biggest advice all three mothers want others to know is to listen to their gut. Parents should always communicate with their children and err on the side of caution when it comes to seeking medical help.

“It is so hard on these little babies,” Keele said.