Pediatric units nearing capacity due to triple virus threat

8 months 4 weeks 2 days ago Monday, January 02 2023 Jan 2, 2023 January 02, 2023 5:03 PM January 02, 2023 in News - Local

A pediatrician out of Brownsville says two pediatric floors are nearing capacity. Children are coming in for different illnesses. 

Emily Terrazas and her three children are starting off the new year at Brownsville's Children's Clinic — all three of her kids are sick. 

"They're experiencing cough, mucus, a lot of congestion like in their chest," Terrazas said. "Even my newborn, she's been getting sick, and I hardly don't get out of the house."

Her five-year-old was hospitalized for the flue on Christmas Eve at Valley Baptist.

"She was really bad, she couldn't even walk, she was really bad," Terrazas said. 

Over the past several months, Valley Baptist and Valley Regional have been seeing high numbers of children admitted to the hospital. 

'We have gone ups and downs to the maximum capacity, and then we turn around and go down to our 70 percent of occupation," Chief of Pediatrics at Valley baptist Dr. Asim Zamir said. 

A majority of the children are being treated for the flu, RSV, and strep throat. 

Others are being hospitalized with COVID-19 related complications like pneumonia.

"We definitely see a rise in number as compared to early November to mid-December," Zamir said. 

Fifteen percent of his patients are testing positive for COVID-19. 

He believes the new COVID-19 variant known as XBB1.5 could be to blame. 

"In fact it was almost like at zero level for covid, but after thanksgiving we saw a little bit rise like five percent," Zamir said.

He says the symptoms are similar to the flu. 

"These kids are getting better by staying home for five days and taking the medications as described," Zamir said. "Keeping themselves hydrated, keeping social distancing."

Zamir says he expects covid infections to spike in two weeks because of the two back to back holidays — Christmas and New Years. 

He wants everyone to be mindful of the symptoms and says if anyone feels sick, to get tested right away and avoid spreading germs. 

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