Southern Minnesota doctors seeing spike in RSV, Influenza and COVID cases among children

The Mankato Clinic is reporting an uptick in respiratory viruses and children, and fear that the problem may get worse before it gets better.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:39 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - As the Thanksgiving holiday and winter draw nearer, it’s the season when illness begins to be more common, especially among children.

The Mankato Clinic reports that they have seen a surge in RSV, Influenza and COVID cases among children, and that this spike has come even sooner than was expected.

“All of these viral illnesses are happening earlier this year than they’ve happened in the past. So I have a lot of patients that say ‘oh the first of December I come in and get my flu shot. Really that’s too late this year. The spike is already happening,” said Mankato Clinic Dr. Katie Smentek.

Experts believe that the spike in respiratory illnesses may actually be caused by extensive public health efforts, as immune systems go untested and may overall be weaker to infection.

“Especially with young kids, their immunity hasn’t been challenged as often as it was in the past with all of the infection mitigation measures that we’ve been doing. So they just have these untested immune systems that now are getting every illness that comes down the pipe,” said Smentek.

The Mankato Clinic says that they received 106 patients into urgent care in the first four hours of Monday morning, more than they typically see in an entire day.

The clinic doesn’t foresee the situation improving, as families gathering for Thanksgiving could see the problem worsen.

“We are pretty worried about the weeks coming up after Thanksgiving, that people will be coming together more and sharing germs and passing on a lot of these illnesses,” said Smentek.