RSV and flu cases hitting Charlotte daycare as numbers climb statewide

The latest NCDHHS data shows 877 people statewide tested positive for RSV over the week ending Oct. 22.
The daycare owner here is no stranger to RSV, but doctors say the virus is hitting the children earlier in the season.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 7:55 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - More than 77% of inpatient hospital beds across North Carolina are full, as respiratory viruses continue to spread.

“I’ve been in early ed. for 30 years, I have never seen RSV this rampant,” Karen Jones, the owner of Nana’s Learning Place Center, a daycare in University City, said.

Jones said RSV cases started popping up in August and about six out of 14 children in her 3-year-old classroom have tested positive.

“Throughout the day everybody is checking temperatures,” Jones said.

Her staff is stepping up protocols to keep everybody healthy by sanitizing surfaces and lots of hand washing.

But they also need parents to do their part, by keeping children home if they are sick.

“We do understand that people have to work and parents don’t have any options, but we remind them that they’re putting everybody at risk at this point,” she said.

NCDHHS data shows the steep increase in RSV cases, with a slight dip over the last week.

877 people statewide tested positive for RSV over the week ending Oct. 22, compared to 899 over the week ending Oct. 15.

The data also shows flu cases surpassing RSV cases, with 900 positive cases over the week ending Oct. 22, which is up from just 395 people testing positive over the week ending Oct. 15.

“Just yesterday in one class, we had four to five kids out with the flu diagnosis,” Jones said.

In some cases, children are getting both viruses, which is why health experts urge parents to protect their children.

“All children should be up on COVID vaccine and booster, their flu vaccine, and this will prevent the chance of them being hospitalized because they’re less likely to have serious illness of those two, or the overlapping or the combo illness,” Pediatrician Dr. Laura Sinai, of Pediatrics at Home, said.

Doctors say one reason these viruses could be more severe this year is because we’re no longer wearing masks and social distancing, and children born during the pandemic never had the chance to build immunity to some of these viruses.

Related: Respiratory illnesses force two Stanly County schools to close