MUSC reports large hospitalization of infants, children with respiratory diseases
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - MUSC’s chief of pediatric critical care says her department is seeing high numbers of kids in the ICU and emergency room with respiratory diseases.
In particular, Dr. Elizabeth Mack says doctors are treating a lot of RSV, or Respiratory syncytial virus which impacts infants. Infants struggle with breathing and coughing because their airways are smaller and take a hard hit when they get the sicknesses, which affects adults like a common cold.
Signs of the virus are babies pulling at their bellies, head bobbing and grunting which are all related to trouble breathing.
The increased number of RSV cases may be related to more human interactions and less masking following the COVID-19 pandemic, Mack says.
“Certainly more than we saw of the other viruses during COVID because people were masked and distance, so these viruses… kids were protected, and so we did not see much the past couple years,” she says. “I do believe that these numbers are more than we’ve seen even pre-COVID as well.”
Mack also says the first child hospitalized from flu also came in this week and she worries it will be a hard upcoming season.
Her advice is to vaccinate kids against the flu starting at six months and COVID when they qualify to protect kids and keep them generally healthy.
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