RSV disease on the rise in children in Houston

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Texas Children's Hospital is seeing a big spike in RSV (KTRK)

There's concerning news for parents after one Houston-area hospital reports a spike in a potentially life-threatening respiratory disease known as RSV.

From the playground to the zoo, exposure could be anywhere.

Mom Alex Neely said, "My kids haven't had it. We're lucky but I've heard of some kids that have and it's been really bad."

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) can look at lot like the flu.

"The way I describe it is if there's ever been a time when you had to go through an entire box of Kleenex, you probably had RSV," said Dr. Paul Checchia with Texas Children's Hospital.

But in infants, it can be very dangerous.
"Really, the risk for a baby is when you actually have the infection. That's the acute time when it's most dangerous," said Checchia.

A snapshot of just one day shows 33 percent of pediatric admissions in the ICU of Texas Children's main campus were for RSV. At its west campus, the number was even higher at 50 percent with most being on a ventilator.

Symptoms include an infant not feeding well, turning blue around the lips and retracting while breathing.

"I guess not being in closed places and trying to be outdoors as much as possible," said Mother Jean Montealegre.

Parents say they'll keep doing what they can to keep their children safe.
"It just makes me really want to wash hands and be careful of germs," said Alex Neeley.

Shannon Stevenson added, "I think it's just know who you are around but at the same time you can't just live in a bubble either."
Related Topics:
healthTexas Childrens HospitalHouston
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