WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – A warning from health officials after a spike of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) cases as the Centers for Disease Control issues a health advisory on the issue. There are roughly 58,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 deaths linked to the illness in the U.S. every year.
The number of illnesses is on the rise as people begin to come out of the pandemic, and it has doctors and parents concerned. This is an illness that is manageable for most adults. The problem is when babies contract RSV, it becomes very serious.
One Wichita mom said when her baby got it she was terrified.
“At first, it wasn’t too scary because it looked like a cold, but then when you see them go through it and you are in there with them, it’s hard to see them in that position,” said Rocio Munoz.
Munoz said her daughter got RSV at just two weeks old.
“I had to take her to the ER to get her suctioned because they suction them,” she said.
Pediatrician Amy Seery said many parents are bringing in their children with similar symptoms.
“We are seeing a large uptick in Respiratory Syncytial Virus also known as RSV. This is a virus that typically affects young children and infants and normally would only be in the winter months, but we are having a very large outbreak of that right now,” said Dr. Seery.
Dr. Seery said there was a record low number of flu and RSV cases in 2020, but as social distancing and masking stop, airborne viruses are spreading rapidly.
“I think we were having a bit of a catch-up and several experts are predicting a much rougher fall and winter for our youngest individuals in our population,” said Dr. Seery.
Munoz’s daughter recovered in a matter of weeks, but the time in the hospital with her infant sticks with her.
“You’re not thinking that she’s going to be in there all day in the hospital anymore, getting checked. Her oxygen levels would go better. It was the best feeling knowing she was going to be okay,” said Munoz.
Dr. Seery said she saw next to no cases of RSV until Memorial Day weekend, that’s apparently when the outbreak hit in her opinion.
For more information on RSV trends, click here.