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Biden Administration Reluctant To Declare Emergency Amid Surge In Childhood Flu And RSV Cases: Report



Joe Biden

– The Joe Biden administration is reluctant to declare a national emergency in the face of a rise in respiratory illnesses among children stemming from seasonal flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses, The Hill reported Friday.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association last week urged the federal government to take action, arguing that an emergency declaration would give more resources to help the health system.

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“We need emergency financial support and flexibilities along the lines of what has been provided to respond to COVID surges,” the organizations wrote in a letter to Biden and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. , noting RSV infections have risen to “unprecedented levels.”

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However, HHS has indicated that a national emergency is not needed at this time, according to the report.

“We have offered support to jurisdictions in dealing with the impact of RSV and influenza and stand ready to assist communities in need of help on a case-by-case basis,” an HHS spokeswoman said.

Across Texas, many children were getting sick before Thanksgiving as the rise in RSV continued to overwhelm regional hospitals, the latest data from the Texas Department of State Health Services showed.

Doctors at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, the largest city in the southern state of Louisiana, said last week that half of hospitalized children have some form of respiratory infection, caused by viruses such as influenza, RSV, adenovirus and the rhinovirus.

Two years of mask-wearing, social distancing and isolation have made more people less immune to viruses, said Joseph Kanter, Louisiana state health official.

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the rate of childhood hospitalization for the week of November 12 peaked at 17.5 per 100,000, a rate that was double that of any other season on record. ■


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