The new highly infectious Delta variant of COVID is making more and more child victims and the number of children hospitalized in Texas Children’s campuses is now higher than ever. What is worst, most children also suffer from RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), a virus which can be particularly dangerous for children as it leads to numerous deaths and hospitalizations for children worldwide. In 2020, the Respiratory Syncytial Virus did not represent a major risk as it was mostly dormant, but it appears that this year RSV made a dangerous combo with the newest strains of COVID.
“What may be happening is the population has become more susceptible because they had not seen this virus in a while. Once it got introduced into our community, it spread rapidly. It’s been in our community for about a month,” explained Dr. Piedra Pedro from the Baylor College of Medicine.
The virus is a seasonal one and it is expected to peak during the cold season, and disappear by spring. RSV is a severe risk especially for infants that are six months old and younger. Texas Children’s have 45 children hospitalized with COVID-19 and according to the hospital there are at least 25 who also suffer from RSV.
The good news is that hospitalization won’t be needed for most infected children and adults, and the virus can be very similar to a regular cold, spreading by droplets and having similar symptoms. Nevertheless, it is important to pay close attention to babies as this virus can lead to “major respiratory distress”.
Protecting ourselves from RSV is not different from the ways in which we protect ourselves against COVID. It is important to try to avoid sick persons and maintain good hygiene. Those who get sick should also try to stay home and avoid people until recovering.