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Rise in RSV: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland reports ‘beds are all full’ amid rising cases in children


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Hospitals across the country are seeing an increase in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases in children.

It is a common respiratory disease in babies that occurs especially during the winter months. However, pediatricians are now noticing a high volume of cases occurring earlier in the year.

“RSV – Respiratory Syncytial Virus. This is a virus we see every fall. It usually starts in November and continues through April. Last year we saw it in mid-summer. This year , we’re seeing it as early as October,” said Dr. April Zaat, a pediatric hospitalist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.

Dr. Zaat says they are facing a flare, says the hospital is seeing a flare.

“We are earlier than usual in a situation where our beds are full. I arrived this morning and I am part of one of the hospitalization teams. My team is full, our respiratory unit is full, and he there were 5-7 children in the emergency room waiting for beds,” Dr. Zaat said. “Many of them have respiratory illnesses. Like rhinovirus, enteroviruses. Kind of a potpourri if you want respiratory viruses that cause viruses in children. The RSV is the main player.”

According to pediatricians, what is different now is that older children are getting RSV and also testing positive for several viruses.

“We not only see it in newborn babies, but we see it in children who are now 1 year old, 2 years old, even 3 years old,” said Dr David Cornfield, head of pediatric pulmonary medicine at the hospital. for children Lucile Packard. at Stanford.

One of those kids is Derek Smith’s 2-year-old daughter.

“The whole family is sick. It started with my daughter getting it from her preschool pod. That was about two and a half weeks ago,” Smith said. “She’s still coughing and you can definitely hear there’s something pressing in there.”

Dr. Cornfield believes COVID has played a distinctive role in the increase in RSV cases.

“Given the isolation we have all experienced due to COVID. Many children who are in their second or third year of life have not yet seen RSV infection. So older children who contract RSV for the first time are more severely affected this way,” said Dr. Cornfield.

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