Boston-area hospitals see rise in respiratory syncytial virus or RSV cases

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WHAT DOCTORS ARE SEEING LOCALLY. TODD: BEHIND ME IS THE FALLOWEEN CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL, JUST GETTING UNDERWAY HERE ON THE COMMON. NO DOUBT THE KIDS ARE FOCUSING ON THE FUN, BUT MANY PARENTS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT RSV, WHICH IS SPREADING AND SENDING SOME CHILDREN TO THE HOSPITAL. >> RSV STANDS FOR RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS. IT IS AN EXTREMELY COMMON VIRUS THAT ALMOST ALL CHILDREN BECOME INFECTED WITH BY AGE OF 2. TODD: RSV IS NOT A NEW VIRUS, BUT THIS YEAR, DOCTORS ARE ALREADY REPORTING AN INCREASE IN CASES. PEOPLE AT HIGHEST RISK ARE OLDER ADULTS AS WELL AS CHILDREN. ,>> MOST CHILDREN WILL JUST HAVE MILD SYMPTOMS OF A COLD, SUCH AS A FEVER, A RUNNY NOSE OR A COUGH. TODD: NATIONALLY, ABC NEWS IS REPORTING THAT HOSPITALS IN 36 STATES ARE SEEING AN UPTICK IN PEDIATRIC HOSPITALIZATIONS FOR RSV, AS WELL AS THE FLU, AND OTHER RESPIRATORY VIRUSES. >> REALLY HIGH FEVERS, DIFFICULTY BREATHING, A LOT OF WORK TO BREATHE. TODD: LOCALLY MASS GENERAL , BRIGHAM HAS DIAGNOSED 80 A“ 90 POSITIVE CASES OF RSV PER DAY OVER THE LAST TWO DAYS. DOCTORS ARE WARNING ABOUT MORE SPREAD THAN USUAL AND MORE SEVERE CASES, PERHAPS AS A SIDE-EFFECT OF MITIGATION STRATEGIES DURING THE PANDEMIC. >> FOR A FEW YEARS, WE WERE ISOLATING, DISTANCING, WEARING MASKS. DURING THAT TIME REGULAR VIRUSES , LI

Boston-area hospitals see rise in respiratory syncytial virus or RSV cases

Boston-area hospitals are seeing a rise in cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a common cold virus that can be associated with severe disease in young children and older adults.”It is an extremely common virus that almost all children become infected with by the age of 2,” said Dr. Ben Nelson, a pediatric pulmonologist at Mass General for Children.RSV is not a new virus, but this year, doctors are already reporting an increase in cases. People at the highest risk are older adults as well as children.”Most children will just have mild symptoms of a cold, such as a fever, a runny nose or a cough,” Nelson said. Nationally, ABC News is reporting that hospitals in 36 states, including Massachusetts, are seeing an uptick in pediatric hospitalizations for RSV, the flu and other respiratory viruses.Locally, Mass General Brigham has diagnosed 80 to 90 positive cases of RSV per day over the last two days. Doctors are warning about more spread than usual and more severe cases, perhaps as a “side-effect of mitigation strategies during the pandemic.”For a few years, we were isolating, distancing, wearing masks, and – during that time – regular viruses like RSV weren’t really circulating in the community,” Nelson said. Nelson said the vast majority of children only have mild cases. “I don’t think parents should be scared, but, at the same time, there are some things that we can do to help minimize spread of the disease, and those are usual measures, such as handwashing, covering our mouths when we’re coughing and sneezing and, if you do have a fever and not feeling well, staying home,” he said.

Boston-area hospitals are seeing a rise in cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a common cold virus that can be associated with severe disease in young children and older adults.

“It is an extremely common virus that almost all children become infected with by the age of 2,” said Dr. Ben Nelson, a pediatric pulmonologist at Mass General for Children.

RSV is not a new virus, but this year, doctors are already reporting an increase in cases. People at the highest risk are older adults as well as children.

“Most children will just have mild symptoms of a cold, such as a fever, a runny nose or a cough,” Nelson said.

Nationally, ABC News is reporting that hospitals in 36 states, including Massachusetts, are seeing an uptick in pediatric hospitalizations for RSV, the flu and other respiratory viruses.

Locally, Mass General Brigham has diagnosed 80 to 90 positive cases of RSV per day over the last two days. Doctors are warning about more spread than usual and more severe cases, perhaps as a “side-effect of mitigation strategies during the pandemic.

“For a few years, we were isolating, distancing, wearing masks, and – during that time – regular viruses like RSV weren’t really circulating in the community,” Nelson said.

Nelson said the vast majority of children only have mild cases.

“I don’t think parents should be scared, but, at the same time, there are some things that we can do to help minimize spread of the disease, and those are usual measures, such as handwashing, covering our mouths when we’re coughing and sneezing and, if you do have a fever and not feeling well, staying home,” he said.

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