Whatcom County reports that hospital capacity for children is very low and stores are running out of fever and cold medicine for children.
“We are seeing unprecedented demand, especially for children’s hospital beds,” said County Health Officer Dr. Greg Thompson. “So there are many virus outbreaks right now, including RSV, influenza, and COVID activity, all of which are hitting us at once.”
Thompson said the hospital was on the brink. He said his 99% of pediatric medical beds and pediatric ICU beds are full, not just in Whatcom County, but throughout Washington State.
“Hospitals need to do everything we learned with COVID, they need to be flexible to make room for kids in the ER, and they need to make sure people are actually working at their limits. and meet the needs of all these sick children,” Thompson said.
There are also shortages of some antibiotics and common cold and flu medicines for children in the county.
“We have asked Whatcom County pharmacies to voluntarily limit the number of bottles they sell per person, which we hope will help limit the shortage,” said Thompson. Thompson said the county hopes limiting the amount of medicine people can buy will help, but most fevers can be treated with rest and hydration.
“You don’t have to treat all heat. I think heat is like a check engine light on a car. It means something is going on, do a little more research and figure out what the problem is.” You have to understand,” he said. “But I know your goal is not to turn off the check engine light, just to turn off the heat.”
However, there are symptoms to look out for that may indicate that your child may be experiencing something more serious and should seek medical attention.
“The fever that worries us the most is in children under three months old, and 100.4 is kind of a magic number for that age group,” Thompson said. In children, it is most worrisome when the fever lasts longer than 5 days, or if the fever is present early in the illness, goes away and then comes back later. I’m worried I might have developed what they call a bacterial infection.”