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Local hospitals: Illness surge at Primary Children’s isn’t happening in Wasatch Back

Cold and flu season
Cold and flu season

Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake is at capacity due to the triple threat of RSV, influenza and COVID-19 but local hospitals say they’re under standard operating procedures.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported this week that Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City is “full to the brim” with young patients.

Intermountain Healthcare operates Park City Hospital and Heber Valley Hospital. A company spokesperson declined to provide any information on how full Wasatch Back hospitals are but said they were operating normally.

According to doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital, the surge is due a spike in cases of RSV, influenza and COVID-19 converging all at once.

According to a spokesperson with the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, influenza is surging all over the country and Utah has yet to see the worst of it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about respiratory viruses to thousands of healthcare workers around the country to reinforce testing, vaccines and treatment.

Chris Smoot, an epidemiologist with Wasatch County Health Department, told KPCW that Heber Valley Hospital hasn’t alerted his office about needing surge assistance.

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a common respiratory virus. It typically causes mild cold-like symptoms, according to the CDC. But in children under a year old, RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia as well as bronchiolitis.

The CDC said the best way to prevent hospitalization from these viruses this winter is to get vaccinated against influenza and COVID-19. There is no vaccination for RSV.

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