A patient checks in every 2 minutes: RSV surge hits Cook Children's ED

The emergency department at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, treated 564 patients in a 24-hour period amid a nationwide surge of respiratory syncytial virus.

"In the last 24 hours, the Cook Children's ED staff saw 564 patients, which is equivalent to a patient checking in every 2.5 minutes for 24 hours straight," the hospital said in a Nov. 1 tweet. 

An additional 599 patients were seen across Cook Children's seven urgent care centers, which it described as "more than usual." 

Many patients seen in the ED are treated as outpatients and don't require admission. Still, the situation underscores the severe strain staff are working under. In their tweet, Cook Children's shared an infographic chart to help parents determine whether their children require emergency department care for respiratory illness. 

In terms of inpatient pediatric beds, 88 percent are occupied in Texas, according to data cited by NBC affiliate KXAS-TV in a Nov. 2 report. 

In October, hospitals in New York, Michigan and Indiana reported RSV case increases of 300 percent or more compared to the previous month. As hospitals face this surge, the nation's cumulative flu hospitalization rate has already hit a 13-year high. The CDC estimates there have already been nearly 7,000 U.S. flu hospitalizations this season, a level not seen this early into flu season since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. 

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