Influenza, RSV and COVID-19 cases rising among children in Utah

Dec 10, 2021, 7:02 PM | Updated: 8:39 pm

 SALT LAKE CITY — COVID-19 was already causing a lot of illness in Utah communities. Now, influenza and RSV cases are rising.

Doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital are concerned.

On Friday, they urged parents to get their children vaccinated against influenza and COVID-19, if they’re eligible. 

“You’re seeing a year unlike any other in history that we know in terms of the surge of these respiratory viruses,” said Dr. Trahern “T.W.” Jones, a pediatric infectious disease physician with University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. 

The hospital is full, he said in a media briefing. Cases of COVID-19, influenza and RSV are rising. 

“We are still dealing with a huge surge of children with RSV,” Jones said. “We’re still seeing plenty of cases of COVID, and we’re just seeing, overall, lots of cases of viral infections.” 

A family from Hyrum is dealing with a scary RSV surge of their own. Three out of their five children caught RSV, and one is still hospitalized on life-support. 

“It started with the 5-year-old, Xaylee, two weeks ago,” Dakotah Gordon said. 

The girl had cold-like symptoms. So, they took their three youngest children to the doctor. All ended up with RSV. 

“It really went downhill from there,” Gordon said. 

Xaylee got better several days later, after antibiotic treatment, but her younger brother and sister were hospitalized. 

Three-year-old Xaiden went home from the Logan hospital Wednesday. But, Xarina, who is only one year old, was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital early this week and is still there. 

“It was pretty scary there for a while. I have to keep reminding myself that she’s at Primary Children’s. They’ve got some of the best doctors there,” Gordon said. 

She’s stable on an ECMO machine, supporting her heart and lungs. 

“She’s not really improving, but she’s not declining,” her father said. 

Doctors have been trying to clear her lungs of infection. 

“Right now, it’s just a day to day, moment to moment thing, seeing how she does with different treatments,” he said. 

Gordon said he has faith that his daughter will recover because of the care she’s getting. 

Family members have set up a GoFundMe* account. 

Dr. Jones said influenza diagnoses are also rising among all age groups, including Utah children. Some have been hospitalized. 

Two weeks ago, there were 43 cases of flu throughout the Intermountain Healthcare system. It was up to 125 last week, the doctor said, and a few children have been hospitalized with influenza. 

“We anticipate this is only rising at an exponential rate. So, this has us fairly concerned,” the infectious disease physician said. 

He’s even more concerned because the vaccination rate for influenza among children is 14% lower than it was a year ago. 

“So, we’re already not covering and protecting our children against flu with proper vaccination. So, this has got us concerned that we’re kind of vulnerable right now to rising flu cases.” 

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

The Nurse Crisis and Patent Risk....
Debbie Worthen

Utah registered nurses are leaving the field, creating the ‘perfect storm’

"Without nurses, we can't have hospitals." Utah nurses are overworked and underpaid. Some say it's put people at risk.
14 days ago
Four-year-old Viola Fairfax-Panza Getting her COVID-19 vaccination, held by her mother Keke Fairfax...
Jed Boal

Salt Lake Co. distributes COVID vaccines for children 6-months and older

Salt Lake County begins COVID-19 vaccinations for children 6 months and older.
14 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Stephen Zenner/Getty Images)...
Jed Boal

Utah’s youngest kids should be able to get COVID-19 vaccine next week

Kids as young as 6 months old should be able to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the middle of next week. This is an eagerly awaited opportunity for many parents and an issue of concern for others.
18 days ago
Utah COVID testing site. Getty images...
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

New mobile COVID-19 testing sites open in Utah

With the summer travel season underway and a steady stream of people still testing positive for COVID-19, Nomi Health opened several mobile testing sites across Utah.
27 days ago
The CDC is released updated mask guidance as researchers learn more about COVID-19. (KSL TV)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Charter school asks students not to mask to help ‘normalize’ not wearing masks at school

The American Preparatory Academy asks students not to wear a mask during their last three days of school to help with their 'academic and emotional growth.'
1 month ago
AURORA, CO - DECEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigat...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Pfizer booster shot is now approved for children 5-11, here’s what a doctor advises

The CDC now recommends Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for children ages five to 11. But, a leading pediatric epidemiologist suggests some parents may want to wait based on their summer plans.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Influenza, RSV and COVID-19 cases rising among children in Utah