Multiple Illnesses Going Around Tri-Cities

Multiple Illnesses Going Around Tri-Cities »Play Video
TRI-CITIES -- If it seems to you like something's going around you're right. KEPR Action News found out the Tri-Cities is being hit with five very contagious illnesses.

Our three local hospitals are also seeing bad cases of norovirus which also spreads very quickly.

KEPR Action News tells you what's making people sick.

You know something's up when you go to urgent care and find a sign outside of KGH Urgent Care that says the provider is sick. And it's not just one.

Just up the road on 27th in Kennewick, the KGH walk-in clinic has a similar sign.

Since two clinics suddenly closed for the day, chances are the other clinics are keeping busy. The health department keeps on top of what doctors are seeing and KEPR found out right now it isn't pretty. There are five major viruses.

"It's unusual to see this many all at once," said Dr. Larry Jecha with the Benton Franklin Health District.

Here's what's going around:
- Rhino-virus (common cold)
- Influenza
- RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)
- Rota-virus (often called stomach flu)
- Norovirus

Norovirus is also highly contagious and the one you often hear of making hundreds sick on a cruise ship.

Dr. Jecha can't say how many cases of norovirus are in the Tri-Cities because it's not reportable.

"But talking to nurses they're seeing it pick up in hospitalizations," said Dr. Jecha.

But the good news is schools aren't seeing a big hit. The magic number is 10%. If districts have more than 10% of students out, health officials worry. But we're not seeing that.

"We can't say it enough, wash your hands cover your cough and stay home if you're sick," said Dr. Jecha.

An once of prevention could be more than good advice with five nasty viruses going around the Tri-Cities right now.

KEPR received a statement from KGH about the two closed offices.

"KGH has a variety of locations with medical practices and clinics to meet the medical needs of patients in this growing area. One of our two urgent care clinics and one of the walk-in care clinics was closed today due to a lack of available medical providers to staff or service the clinics. It is very rare for us to have two clinics closed at one time, and we make every effort to provide the high quality of service and care that our patients expect from us.

When a clinic is closed, we notify patients by announcing it on our KGH Physician Clinics website, as well as posting a note on the clinic door informing patients of the nearest open clinics. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused patients. KGH has two urgent care clinics and two walk-in care clinics. Our other urgent care clinic and walk-in care clinic were open."