Orange County, California Declares Health Emergency over Respiratory Illnesses

November 2, 2022
Children in rain boots

… a gigantic surge for us.

Chief nursing officer at Children’s Health of Orange County Children’s Hospital, Melanie Patterson, on Orange County, California declaring a health emergency due to rising respiratory illnesses in kids.

Why It Matters: Orange County, California declared a health emergency as the County (and the rest of the state) faces a "triple whammy" of increased cases of flu, continued Covid-19 and unseasonably high RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) in pediatric patients. As there are very few hospitals in the county which specifically treat children, this emergency declaration will enable hospitals that don't usually treat children "to care for them if and when they need it," county health officer Chinsio-Kwong explained.

In the county's press release declaring the health emergency late Monday, Chinsio-Kwong said: "Our best shot at protecting ourselves and our children from respiratory illnesses continues to be the same things we practiced throughout the pandemic including the use of masks when indoors around others and staying home when you are sick."

Orange County declares health emergency as RSV surges; cases also rising in L.A. (Los Angeles Times)

Press Conference on Declaration of Health Emergency and Proclamation of Local Emergency (Orange County Health Care Agency on YouTube)

On Tuesday, pulmonologist and critical care physician Dr. Rutland took your questions on flu, RSV, and protecting yourself and your family this winter:

by Jenna Lee,