AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra met with pediatric health care leaders at Children’s Hospital Colorado to see how the region is handling the unprecedented respiratory season and how the federal government can help.
Doctors told the secretary RSV cases are finally starting to decrease, but COVID and flu cases are still rising, and the system is strained.
“The severity of this is hard to describe, but we went many, many, many days in Colorado with zero pediatric ICU beds open,” said Scott Bookman with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
“Something else we’ve been facing are shortages of antibiotics, antivirals and life-saving medications like albuterol to treat asthma,” said Dr. Suchitra Rao with Children’s Hospital Colorado.
“What it takes for families to call around and look for medications that they need is a lot of stress,” said Dr. Cassie Littler with the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Becerra listened and said the federal government will help however it can.
“What we’re trying to do is figure out how do we leverage the federal dollars that we get, how do we leverage our authorities that we have, telehealth flexibility, so that we can create a more seamless system,” Becerra said.
Doctors added that it’s very important to take precautions as we head into the holiday week.
The experts said to stay home if you are sick, wash your hands regularly and wear masks when appropriate.