Doctors report uptick in number of babies with RSV, a respiratory virus, this flu season

The number of babies hospitalized with RSV has increased and with an early flu season, it's a full house at Texas Children's Hospital
January 9, 2014 7:27:08 PM PST
There's been a significant increase in the number of babies sick and hospitalized with RSV, a respiratory virus. Add that to an early flu season and you have a full house at Texas Children's Hospital.

Whitney Brown's premature baby was two months old when she caught RSV and ended up in the hospital.

"She was choking for a good solid 10 minutes and I was just like, what do we do? I thought we were honestly gonna lose her," Brown said.

Doctors say RSV is most dangerous for premature babies, babies with heart problems and immune problems.

"They get fever, wheezing and respiratory distress, cough," said Dr. Jeffrey Starke with Texas Children's Hospital.

There are more babies here with RSV than at this time last year. In addition, flu season hit early, so children are here with the flu. That means a full hospital.

"RSV is usually the more severe disease in infants and toddlers, and influenza is usually the more severe disease in older children and adults," Dr. Starke said.

For older children and adults, RSV is usually like a cold. Since there isn't a good vaccine against it, Dr. Starke says parents of babies should act fast if their baby has trouble breathing.

"You notice their chest going in and out, they're breathing rapidly, those kids need to be seen right away," he said.

Dr. Starke says there's no treatment for RSV, so parents may want to be extra cautious about taking their babies out in public during this RSV epidemic.

Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at @ChristiMyers13

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