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Health officials: Kansas City flu season starting early, strong

Flu sick
Posted at 4:02 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 17:02:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Citians are among populations across the country navigating an early start to the flu season.

The Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department reported Monday afternoon 90 flu-related emergencies room visits as of Oct. 23, 2022.

That compares to 35 such visits on a similar date last year. Data from 2020 shows only 12 visits, though social distancing associated with the COVID-19 pandemic limited virus transmissibility.

The local trend is similar to national data tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows the seasonal increase in cases starting in earnest in early October.

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The early start of the flu season comes at the same time pediatricians are reporting an increase in RSV cases.

A Children’s Mercy Hospital spokesperson said last week the hospital had 247 RSV-positive cases during the final week in October.

The spokesperson said the hospital tested 1,070 children for flu in the same time period, with 258 children testing positive.

As of Nov. 3, the spokesperson said their urgent care and emergency departments were experiencing longer-than-normal wait times.