Local Health Officials Warn Of Rise in RSV And Flu Cases

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Local doctors are raising concerns over the rise in RSV and Flu cases in the Carolinas.

Dr. David Priest with Novant Health said there will likely be an uptick of COVID cases of the next few months but nothing like the Omicron surge from last year.

However, doctors both locally and nationally ae seeing a drastic rise in RSV and Flue cases much earlier in the season than usual.

Dr. Priest said more kids are being hospitalized. In fact, 85% of pediatric patients at Novant are there with RSV.

“The overall message is that we have bed capacity, but we have more inpatients than we typically have in pediatrics so we have to coordinate with the hospital systems to make sure that we have the appropriate capacity for our communities,” said Dr. Priest.

Officials in South Carolina are also urging people to take precautions to reduce the spread of these viruses.

D-HEC is reporting an active and severe flu season. South Carolina’s first flu-related child death was on Monday.

“Preventing these illnesses with vaccines keeps more people out of the hospital, it prevents undue burden on our health care systems, and it avoids medical care costs for families,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina’s State Epidemiologist.

Unlike the flu, there is currently no vaccine for RSV. However, Pfizer is working on that.

The company says it will submit it’s RSV vaccine for approval to the FDA by the end of the year.

Shots would be given to pregnant women who then produce antibodies that are passed on to the newborn.