Lowcountry feeling impacts of RSV

Hospitals around the country and here at home are seeing an increase in respiratory syncytial virus cases.
Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 4:16 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Hospitals around the country and here at home are seeing an increase in respiratory syncytial virus cases.

Cory Robertson of Mount Pleasant says he has a new perspective on life after his 7-week-old son was put on a ventilator in the intensive care unit after contracting RSV.

It all happened about two weeks ago after Robertson’s daughter came home sick from daycare. The family of four eventually all got sick, but 7-week-old Liam developed a high fever and congestion, which eventually made it hard for him to breathe.

“I was out in the yard doing some yard work and I came inside, and my wife said ‘hey he’s really laboring to breathe right now.’ And we noticed, his shirt was open, his chest was flexing in a little bit which really concerned us,” Robertson said.

Robertson and his wife took Liam to urgent care, and then MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital when he wasn’t getting better. Once they got to the hospital, the infant took a turn for the worse.

READ MORE: What’s behind worrying RSV surge in US children’s hospitals?

“It was really overnight that night where he took a turn for the worse,” Robertson said. “He ended up having to be put onto a high flow oxygen and get more assistance, that still wasn’t working. It was about the middle of the night when my wife called me, and she was crying and upset, and she said that they were going to be putting him on a ventilator and moving him down to the pediatric intensive care unit.”

After nine days in the hospital, Liam is now doing better. But Robertson is now encouraging other parents that if their child is sick, to please stay home to stop the spread.

Last week, MUSC reported that they are seeing high numbers of children in the hospital with respiratory diseases.

Trident Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jane Appleby says they are seeing an increase in RSV cases in their emergency rooms and outpatient settings. As of Monday, several children have been admitted at Summerville Medical Center with RSV. But at this point, they have not seen overwhelming hospitalizations.

“It looks like right now we’re on track to have really more elevated levels of flu and RSV compared to the national norms,” Appleby said.

Appleby said what we’re seeing is a resurgence of seasonal viral illnesses that have been suppressed by COVID-19 for the last couple of years of the pandemic.

Symptoms of RSV typically include coughing, congestion, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Appleby says they’re seeing RSV present in a broad population of primarily children, but also adults. Those most susceptible are infants, the elderly, and those who have difficulties with their immune system.

“The best things we can do are the basics, so washing hands, covering our coughs, getting vaccinated, and staying away from others if you’re sick,” Appleby said.

Appleby also says getting your flu shot is very important this time of year.