January 31, 2023

The state issued an emergency public health order Thursday in response to a surge in pediatric cases and hospitalizations from the respiratory virus.

The New Mexico Department of Health and Human Services issued the public health emergency order on Thursday, urging parents to visit emergency rooms at hospitals with sick children only if the child is showing signs of serious illness, such as: B. Significant breathing difficulties. New Mexico and several other states have some of the highest influenza rates in the US, according to NMDOH.

The DOH said in a press release that the order was necessary because hospitals and emergency rooms were operating beyond their approved capacity due to the rise in respiratory viruses. The surge is causing an unsustainable burden on healthcare providers, according to the press release. New Mexico saw a significant increase in RSV cases during the months of October and November, on top of an increase in cases related to COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory illnesses.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US is experiencing an increased incidence of respiratory diseases. It is the peak of several respiratory viruses including COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus commonly known as RSV, influenza and other respiratory viruses.

Assessments show the state is nearing hospital capacity, which could put New Mexico in crisis care.

Government health experts encourage individuals to keep up to date on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations; stay home if you are sick; Wash your hands; Keep common areas clean and disinfected, and children should go to an emergency center or medical screening provider unless they show significant respiratory distress.

The NMDOH states that RSV is a common respiratory virus that spreads through virus-containing respiratory droplets produced when you cough and sneeze. RSV is generally mild for many children. But according to the CDC, young children can be susceptible to RSV, which can be dangerous for some infants and young children. Children under the age of two have an increased risk of serious illness and hospitalization. According to the press release, an estimated 58,000 to 80,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized each year in the United States due to RSV infection.

Acting NMDOH Secretary Dr. David R. Scrase said in the publication that it is “important to take action to reduce risk of respiratory viruses through good health and hygiene habits.”

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