Monday , May 27 2024

Emergency Room Visits at Valley Children's Reach Record Numbers

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<p>Some nasty viruses are swirling around the Central Valley and sending kids to the hospital at record numbers.&nbsp; Valley Children’s Hospital is seeing more traffic than ever before.</p><p>Several different viruses are all hitting at once.</p><p>Valley Children’s Dr. Larry Satkowiak says, &quot;It’s been a really bad virus season this year.&quot;</p><p>The emergency room at Valley Children’s Hospital has never been this busy.</p><p>&quot;Before December 27th we had never seen more than 400 in a day,&quot; says Dr. Satkowiak.</p><p>Now, it’s seeing an average of 450 patients a day; compared to the typical 300 patients.&nbsp; Kids are suffering from severe colds, respiratory viruses and the flu.&nbsp; Dr. Satkowiak says this year symptoms are lasting longer than normal.</p><p>&quot;I think all the viruses have just become a little bit more active this year.&quot;</p><p>Tuesday, Ida Azevedo and her teenage daughter spent a few hours in the ER.</p><p>Azevedo says, &quot;It turns out it’s a virus that’s going around this year and it’s hiding behind the lymph nodes.&quot;</p><p>Doctors say the viruses appear to have mutated a bit; meaning children aren’t yet immune.&nbsp; They say it also doesn’t help that this years flu vaccine was weak.</p><p>&quot;We’re seeing children with a fever for 4 or 5 days,&quot; says Dr. Satkowiak.</p><p>Clovis Unified officials say they haven’t noticed an increase in sick students or absences.&nbsp; Officials at Fresno Unified say they haven’t received any alerts from the health department, but say they’re still monitoring the situation closely.</p><p>Gail Williams, Fresno Unified Health Services says, &quot;Of course if children have fevers, we send them home.&nbsp; We ask them to stay home.&quot;</p><p>To prevent further illness, as doctor’s work hard to stay on top of what’s already going around.</p><p><br />&quot;We’re doing the best we can.&nbsp; We’ve got extra staff.&nbsp; We’re opening extra beds,&quot; says Dr. Satkowiak.</p><p>Doctor’s at Valley Children’s also say part of the reason for the increase in emergency room patients is due to the shortage of primary care physicians, which they say is a result of the Affordable Health Care Act.</p><p><br/></p></div>

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