Cold & flu season keeps medical staff in emergency rooms, urgent care clinics busy

SAB ANTONIO – A local registered nurse for Baptist Medical Center downtown says it’s been nonstop busy with people exhibiting cold and flu symptoms since the holiday season began.

“A big increase in COVID-19 just from people being around each other. You know, it’s like the flu now. It’s going to be inevitable,” said Jordan Rawson with Baptist Medical Center.

Rawson said it’s the wave of respiratory illnesses most in the medical field were expecting.

Baptist Health System urges the community to do what it can to prevent the continued spread of upper respiratory viruses. It issued the following statement:

“Since November 2023 to today, Baptist Health System Emergency Rooms across the city have treated nearly 800 patients with the Flu, over 200 patients with RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), nearly 300 with problems associated with Asthma, as well as hundreds of patients with other upper-respiratory illnesses including the COVID-19 virus. Baptist Health System reminds the community that hand washing and wearing a face mask are among the best practices in preventing the spread of viruses. It is not too late to get vaccinated against these viruses. Always call 911 in an emergency and if you or a loved (one) experiences rapid or difficulty breathing, high fever over 103° Fahrenheit, vomiting, or has a blue color around the lips and face.”

Claire Bustamante, a pediatric nurse practitioner with Little Spurs Pediatric Care, said afternoons are busy with parents bringing in little ones suffering from upper respiratory illnesses.

“This is our typical peak season, and after these next couple of months, it will improve. And then we tend to slow down after the spring and summer,” Bustamante said.

Until then, she’s teaching parents how to help their little ones deal with symptoms that could last up to two weeks.

“There’s not always a medication needed to help with these symptoms. A lot of it can be things we’re doing around the house for younger kids, you know, suctioning the nose, using nasal saline,” Bustamante said.


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