A Michigan pediatric hospital has reached capacity amid a surge in cases linked to respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.
C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor has treated 270 RSV cases since September, compared to 183 for the same period last year, according to a hospital spokesperson.
“I’ve worked in children’s hospitals for [almost] 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this in terms of RSV — or really anything else either,” Luanne Thomas Ewald, chief operating officer of C.S. Mott and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, told The Post.
RSV is a common respiratory virus that causes cold-like symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with most people being exposed to it by the age of 2.
While most adults recover in a week or two, RSV can be serious and even life-threatening for infants, young kids and the elderly.
Between 100 to 500 children younger than 5 die from the virus every year, according to the CDC. A 6-year-old boy in Macomb County, Michigan, died from RSV this month.
Thomas Ewald said that the surge in RSV cases is due to young children who were isolated during the pandemic due to quarantine restrictions, and as a result not have not developed strong immune systems.
Hospitals across Michigan and the rest of the country are reporting being completely full due the early, and large, numbers of RSV cases, Thomas Ewald said, with many bracing for the additional impact from pediatric flu and COVID-19 cases.
“When the majority of [the state’s] children’s hospitals are already full, we’re obviously extremely concerned,” she said. “We’re just starting to see flu come in to the emergency room, and that hasn’t hit its peak either.”
RSV cases nationwide spiked to 8,597 for the week ending Nov. 5, up from 5,872 the week ending Oct. 1, the latest data available from the CDC. There were 4,512 cases for the same period last year.
Thomas Ewald recommended that parents to see their pediatricians for concerns first before turning to the emergency room. She also recommended that families get their kids immunized for COVID-19 and the flu and wash their hands.