NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A surge in pediatric Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases is overwhelming some children’s hospitals across the country.
While CHKD in Norfolk still has bed space, the hospital is seeing an increase in cases said Dr. Laura Sass, Director of Infection Prevention & Control.
“We are seeing an extraordinary amount of RSV right now,” Dr. Sass told 10 On Your Side.
RSV cases have tripled across the nation in the past two weeks, surpassing last year’s peak. Some hospitals are using temporary units to house sick patients.
CHKD is not at that point, but it is restricting admissions of patients from other parts of the state and closely monitoring local spread.
“We are actually meeting tomorrow to make plans in case we have to make those kinds of decisions,” Dr. Sass said.
Anyone can get RSV which is like a cold, but can be dangerous in infants.
“In babies, it’s also a runny nose and cough, but they can also start breathing faster.” Dr. Sass said that if you see a baby’s chest suck in and they’re using muscles to breathe, you should take the child to a hospital or pediatrician.
RSV is usually seen most in the winter, but two years of pandemic restrictions and mask-wearing have interrupted the cycle, said Dr. Sass. “Then, add in a whole host of children who aren’t immune to any of these viruses because they never saw them when they were babies and toddlers.”
Doctors fear it could be a long winter as cases of RSV, Flu and Covid continue to spread threatening a ‘Tripledemic”.
Dr. Sass said the best way to protect your children is to get flu and COVID vaccines and practice good hand washing, wearing masks and staying away from sick people.