Spike in RSV cases in younger children, local pediatrician weighs in

WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) — A warning from health officials following a spike in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases as the CDC issues a health advisory on the matter this month. There are approximately 58,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 deaths in the US each year related to this disease.

The number of illnesses is increasing as people begin to emerge from the pandemic, and doctors and parents are concerned. This is a disease that is manageable for most adults. The problem is that when babies contract RSV, it becomes very serious.

A Wichita mom said she was terrified when her baby had it. “It wasn’t that scary at first because it looked like a cold, but then when you see them go through it and you’re there with them — it’s hard to see them in that position,” said Rocio Munoz, a Wichita -mother .

Munoz said her daughter got RSV when she was just 2 weeks old. “I had to take her to the emergency room to get her sucked because they suck them,” she said.

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Pediatrician Amy Seery said many parents bring in their children with similar symptoms.

“We are seeing a big rise in the respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV – this is a virus that usually affects young children and infants and would normally only be in the winter months, but we have a very large outbreak of that now, “said Dr. Seery.

dr. Seery said there were a record number of flu and RSV cases in 2020, but as social distancing and masking stop, airborne viruses are spreading rapidly.

“I think we’ve been catching up a bit and several experts are predicting a much rougher fall and winter for our youngest individuals in our population,” said Dr. Seery.

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Munoz’s daughter recovered within a few weeks, but the time in the hospital with her baby stays with her. “You don’t think she’s going to be in the hospital all day, her oxygen levels will get better — it was the best feeling knowing she’s going to be okay,” Munoz said.

dr. Seery said she saw almost no cases of RSV until Memorial Day weekend, which is apparently when the outbreak hit, she believes.

For more information about RSV trends, click here.

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