Rising RSV Hits Children’s Hospitals Across the U.S.

Children’s hospitals across the country are coping with the surge in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), emphasizing health care, and serving millions of parents with sick children. RSV is a common and usually mild disease, but the coronavirus pandemic is leaving millions of children later exposed. Babies isolated during the pandemic did not contract RSV, and children born just before or during the pandemic are now infected with RSV. “Last year I got RSV, but this year it wasn’t at that level,” said Jason Newland, a Washington-based pediatric infectious disease expert. Partly because we are continuing our efforts to mitigate masking and people are still refraining from going out.” University in St. Louis. “We’re seeing older patients being hospitalized for RSV because we’ve never seen RSV,” he said. “And your first illness is usually the worst, and more people are hospitalized.” Crowded hospitals are also a concern as they expect a difficult flu season and an increase in COVID-19 cases as temperatures drop and people spend more time indoors. Newland is St. Louis Children’s Hospital says it has had “very high” admission rates for RSV over the past two to three weeks. This is a level he has not seen in the six years he has been in that position. Providers from other states reported similarly high acceptance rates. Caroline Njau, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Children’s Minnesota, said this year’s RSV surge is much higher than we’ve seen in at least the past six years. She said that Njau said she “is continuing to increase the number of patients and has not yet peaked”, she said. “And RSV itself accounts for about two-thirds of the respiratory viral diseases we’re seeing.” Publicly available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate a strong presence of Midwest RSV, with states such as Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri and Wisconsin being included in the top 10 in terms of positive rates. However, this data is incomplete, and about a quarter of states do not report case data. The CDC said in a briefing on Friday that cases of RSV are increasing in eight out of ten areas under the Department of Health and Human Services. Cases are declining in the southeastern and south-central regions of the United States, including states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and Texas. Andrew Pavia, director of the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah, said this year’s RSV cases have moved in waves from the southeast to the northwest. American RSV is a very common pathogen, but Pavia says it’s “significantly more complex” in terms of how it spreads. “We don’t quite understand why. It does not follow strict weather patterns. I don’t follow the strict people’s moves,” said Pavia. “However, what can be said with some certainty is that if you start accelerating rapidly in one area, it will increase for 8 to 12 weeks, or you will develop an onset for 8 to 12 weeks.” Pavia said it might be good that the virus doesn’t reach the same level of severity across the United States. And right now in the Midwest, people are reaching out across two or three states to find an ICU bed,” he said. The health care providers I spoke with agreed that the recent outbreak of RSV highlighted existing and emerging issues in the US pediatric health care system. Newland said there are concerns that children’s hospitals may be understaffed, which could lead to delays in some services, such as non-emergency surgeries, similar to those that occurred during the most difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pavia noted that the pediatric health care system has lost many employees in the past three years and the rest of the staff are suffering from burnout. Another problem noted by providers is the lack of capacity in children’s hospitals. Stephen Dolter, director of pediatric hospital practice at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Nebraska, said his main concern during the outbreak was lack of space. “We’re going to get them to the hospital as much as possible, whether it’s repurposing a hospital space’s playroom for a treatment room, or reusing an emergency room for an inpatient unit,” Dolter said. There is no vaccine against RSV, but Pfizer announced promising results from a maternal vaccine earlier this week. Monoclonal antibodies are sometimes used as most prophylaxis for children at high risk of serious illness. The providers I spoke with said that so far there has been no problem in securing and maintaining a sufficient supply of monoclonal antibodies. Health professionals and health care providers say it’s important for parents to be aware of the signs that if their child has a respiratory infection, they should go to the hospital for treatment. RSV symptoms usually appear about 2-8 days after exposure to the virus, and symptoms usually last on average for about a week. G7: Russia will face ‘serious consequences’ for the use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Defense and National Security – Funding Ukrainian tanks in a $400 million package from Minnesota. Easy breathing. When breathing becomes difficult, infants begin to breathe short, rapid breaths and may grunt as they breathe. A child’s rib cage moving inward when breathing in is also a sign that they are working too hard to breathe. If there is not enough oxygen, children’s skin may appear blue or purple. In dark-skinned children, oxygen deprivation may resemble color changes around the lips, gums, and eyes. Njau said parents should look for signs that their children are dehydrated or lose their appetite. “Fortunately, almost all children recover from infection on their own, but especially those born prematurely. [and] have other comorbidities [it] May have significant effects on the respiratory system. So it’s really important that they get treatment,” Njau said.

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