JoCo sees spike in flu, RSV cases as kids return to school — What families should know

Kids return to school in USD 232 in De Soto.

Local hospitals are reporting some of their sharpest increases in seasonal flu and RSV cases since before the COVID-19 pandemic, trends attributed in part to kids being back in school with fewer mitigation measures in place. Above, students at an elementary school in USD 232 in De Soto. File photo.

Hospitals in Johnson County are bracing for a potentially heavy respiratory illness season as the wider Kansas City metro sees surges of seasonal viral illnesses that had receded the last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What to look for: The flu and RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, share a number of symptoms in common, as they also do with COVID-19.

  • Some of those shared symptoms include coughing, a runny or stuffy nose, fever, shortness of breath and loss of appetite.
  • However, RSV is more common among young children and infants — although it can also infect older children and adults.
  • According to the CDC, those most at risk when infected with the flu or RSV are generally young children and older adults.

Driving the news: Across the board, hospitals in Johnson County and the Kansas City area are reporting sharp increases in flu and RSV cases.