“Unprecedented” number of pediatric respiratory illnesses

"It seems like a lot of the children are coming down with one virus right after the other"
Posted at 2:54 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 17:17:31-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Children's hospitals across the country and right here in Buffalo are seeing an “unprecedented” number of pediatric respiratory illnesses.

“Pretty busy with a lot of RSV and Influenza A in the children right now along with other viruses,” remarked Dr. Kathleen Grisanti, pediatrician. 

Dr. Kathleen Grisanti, Pediatric & Adolescent Urgent Care of WNY.

Dr. Grisanti is on the front lines of a tough respiratory and flu season among children where she leads the Pediatric & Adolescent Urgent Care of WNY.

“Many of the children were protected with masks for so long now that they're out and about being exposed to a lot of illnesses it seems like a lot of the children are coming down with one virus right after the other,” described Dr. Grisanti. 

Kaleida Health says at Oishei Children's Hospital in Buffalo there are about 200 patients per day in the hospital's ER.  

kids hospital.jpg
Pediatric hospitalization.

More alarming, since September the number of patients admitted at Oishei RSV has exceeded 800, and Kaleida says that is “double” the number of patients admitted with RSV during the 2019-2020 respiratory season.

Kaleida says over the last two weeks there has been a "significant increase" in flu cases as well. 

A child being examined.

“I think that it's unfortunate that we are seeing such a high spike in multiple respiratory illnesses,” reflected Jessica Bauer Walker, Community Health Network of Buffalo. 

Jessica Bauer Walker, Community Health Network of Buffalo.

Bauer Walker is also a Buffalo School parent. 

A notice is posted on the Buffalo Public School District website. It states  the district is “seeing an increase in colds, flu, and RSV.” 

The notice reminds families to keep their children home until they are “fever-free for 24 hours" without symptoms, or in need of medication to avoid spreading illness.  

Message posted on Buffalo Public School District website.

“Not coming to school or going around other people if you're having any symptoms — masking — these are the things if you want to be extra safe — wear that mask and just make sure you are keeping your immune system healthy. Get sleep, eat healthy food, exercise  — those things that are going to keep us healthier and immune systems up,” explained Bauer Walker. 


School districts, like Buffalo, received notices from the Erie County Health Department stating the “triple threat" of pediatric respiratory illnesses

“We are seeing a huge surge of influenza and definitely the best thing the people can do to protect themselves is to get the flu shot,” noted Dr. Grisanti.