Rep. Spanberger calls on Pres. Biden to declare pediatric health emergency

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 3:21 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia Department of Health says urgent care visits for RSV have more than doubled since this time last year.

7th District Representative Abigail Spanberger is calling on President Joe Biden to step in as more people are catching RSV, flu, and COVID-19; in some cases, more than one virus at once.

“That state of emergency is a valuable step, and really, frankly, this is an absolute emergency,” Rep. Spanberger said Wednesday, December 7.

According to the CDC, the hospitalization rate for flu and similar illnesses is the highest it has been since 2010.

“I think what’s most important is urging the president and HHS to declare a pediatric health emergency,” Spanberger said.

She is urging Pres. Biden to allow federal funding for pediatric providers and hospitals.

“I’m hearing it from constituents, young children who are being impacted by RSV at a serious level of needing hospitalization, those rates are up and it’s a scary and uncertain time for parents,” Spanberger said.

Doctor Paige Perriello with Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville says she has seen it all first-hand.

“Most parents feel like their children have been sick for about three months, and it’s hard not to worry after that,” the doctor said. “It’s just sort of a cycle of illness right now. For kids, we sort of have all the things at the same time. We’re at the start of a very significant flu season, as well of the other viruses -COVID, RSV, and many others - that we are seeing circulating.”

Rep. Spanberger says declaring an emergency would ensure pre-emptive actions could be taken to protect Virginians and help keep them healthy.

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