US children infected with respiratory virus amid COVID surge
- Cases of respiratory syncytial virus are usually reported in winters
- The symptoms include a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and fever
- Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana have reported a steep rise in COVID and RSV cases
Health officials in the United States have expressed concern after rise in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is a highly contagious seasonal flulike illness affecting children and older adults, according to New York Times. This comes as COVID cases are also surging in the country due to the Delta variant.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a rise in RSV cases since early June and even greater spike in the past month. The cases usually rise in the winter. The symptoms include a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and fever.
Dr Heather Haq, who is a paediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, tweeted about an increase in both coronavirus and RSV hospitalisations.
She wrote after months of zero or few paediatric COVID cases, infants, children and teens with COVID are being hospitalised.
Similar cases have been reported from in Florida, where infections “were above those seen at this time in past years,” according to a surveillance report.
According to CNN report, the cases have jumped 244% in Louisiana in the past two weeks and Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge was nearing its capacity. In Oklahoma, the situation is same with almost no hospital beds available.
Dr Cameron Mantor, who is chief medical officer for Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health, told a local publication RSV cases have increased exponentially in last two months.
The rise comes as new coronavirus infections have risen 148% in the United States in the past two weeks and hospitalisations have increased 73%, according to New York Times data. The surge of coronavirus infections has been largely attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant and to low vaccination rates in some states.
Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has prohibited local governments and state agencies from mandating COVID vaccines and barred local officials from requiring face masks.