Children's National near capacity amid spike in RSV, flu cases

Children's National says they are near capacity and expect their hospital volumes to stay that way as infections such as RSV and the flu continue to increase.

"This surge in illness is exacerbated by the national healthcare workforce shortages," Children's National said in a statement.

The hospital says they have implemented measures to accommodate higher volumes, but they say families who come in with non-urgent issues should expect long wait times.

READ MORE: COVID vs Cold: How to tell the difference when you're feeling sick

"We anticipate our hospital volumes will remain near capacity in the near future. Families should consider whether their child could be cared for at their primary care pediatrician’s office or at a local urgent care," Children's National says.

RSV stands for respiratory syncytial virus and causes common cold-like symptoms. In most cases, it causes a sniffle or a cough, but for some children, it can cause them to have difficulty breathing, warranting more intensive care.

Dr. Sarah Combs spoke to FOX 5 about why RSV cases are spiking now.

"We're not sure if it's this effect of having been locked down for COVID and thus having much fewer viruses and much less of a viral exposure and thus now with back to school, basically ever since those late summer months, we have just seen this huge uptick that seems to still be rising in RSV cases," says Dr. Combs.

Children's National encourages families to stay up to date on vaccines including a flu shot and the latest vaccine for COVID-19.