State’s weekly respiratory-virus update shows hospitalizations of Kentucky children for RSV are increasing

Published 10:30 am Monday, November 6, 2023

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The state Department for Public Health’s weekly respiratory virus update, released Thursday, Nov. 2, showed that Covid-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity was moderate, and influenza was low, but increasing, and hospitalizations for Covid-19 and the flu remain low, but are increasing for children with RSV.

The state’s respiratory-virus website, found at, shows emergency-department visits and hospital visits for all three respiratory viruses increased in the week ended Oct. 22, with ED visits increasing to 1,754 from 1,692 the week before, and hospitalizations increasing to 258, up from 249 the prior week.

Of those, ED visits for Covid-19 increased by 1, to 796; visits for flu totaled 776, up from 717 the previous week; and 182 were seen for RSV, an increase of 2.

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In that same week, Covid-19 hospitalizations dropped to 166, down from 181 the prior week; flu hospitalizations increased to 50, up from 41 the prior week; and RSV hospitalizations increased to 42, up from 27 the prior week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reporting information through Oct. 28, 18 Kentucky counties had a medium rate of hospital admissions for respirator illnesses, a designation for counties with between 10 and 19.9 admissions per 100,000 residents.

Those counties were Rowan (13.5 admissions per 100,000); Pike (10.6); Morgan (13.5); Monroe (10.7); Metcalfe (10.7); Menifee (13.5); Martin (12.4); Magoffin (10); Letcher (13.9); Lawrence (12.4); Johnson (10); Hart (10.7); Greenup (12.4); Floyd (10); Elliott (13.5); Carter (12.4); Boyd (12.4); and Barren (10.7).

In the week ended Oct. 22, Kentucky reported 1,549 laboratory-confirmed tests for Covid-19, up from 1,397 the prior week; and 131 positive laboratory tests for the flu, up slightly from 128 the prior week.

Kentucky children under the age of 18 saw an increase of seven ED visits for all three respiratory viruses in the week ending Oct. 22, to 709. There was a jump in hospitalizations for all three viruses in this age group, increasing to 53 from 31 the week before.

Among children, 410 of them were seen in the ED, up from 377 the prior week; 134 were seen for the flu, down from 162 the prior week; and 165 were seen for RSV,  up from 162.

In the week ended Oct. 22, 39 children were hospitalized with RSV, up from 21 the prior week. Nine had been hospitalized for the flu and five for Covid-19.