Young children hit hard: RSV cases surge across US, overwhelming pediatric hospitals

Visual Representation
Visual Representation

United States: The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection has now started grasping the younger population of the United States. The local health authorities have outlined that the children could be a highly vulnerable section of the population to fall sick due to the infection.

Recently, a three-month-old baby – Reece Prater, was admitted to the hospital after being infected with RSV. According to the report by CBS News, he was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas – which was more than 300 miles away from his residence as it was the only healthcare center with a pediatric intensive care bed.

While expressing pain and worry, the baby’s mother, Marni Prater, stated that he was given oxygen “immediately” after reaching the hospital because he was unable to breathe.

The CBS News quoted the mother saying, “His breathing was quickly getting worse and heavier.” Furthermore, she mentioned that baby Prater’s elder brother, who is three-year-old, is sick with the seasonal flu.

A baby infected with RSV flu | Credits: Getty Images

Pediatric experts have underlined that this is not the only case in the United States; various children are contracting the flu, which has been overwhelming the hospitals dedicated to children.

A hospitalist at Cook Children’s Medical Center, Dr Laura Romano, informed that in just one day (24 hours), the hospital had admitted more than 600 kids to the emergency rooms and urgent care centers, according to CBS News.

She furthermore commented, “That’s a kid being checked in every two minutes to be seen by a provider.”

Reece’s recent condition is stable, and he is doing great now, said his mother, as per CBS News. “She said he’s been off oxygen for 40 minutes and he’s doing really well,” Marni Prater said.

Overwhelming flu cases across the US!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that the cases are not just increasing in Texas; the situation is worse in almost every state of the US. According to the official data, during the flu season 2023-2024, the United States has reported more than 73,000 hospitalizations due to flu, and as many as 45,000 people have lost their lives – out of which 20 are children.  

Vaccination rate among US children:

The official data has revealed that less than 50 percent of the children in the United States have received flu vaccine this year – it is the lowest vaccine rate in the past five (5) years.

Enhanced treatment for children amid the increase in cases!

After witnessing such an influx of patients in the center, Romano mentioned that Cook Children’s Medical Center has opened another unit that will be renovated to treat the patients. She stated, “Sometimes we have kids who are waiting to go to our ICUs who are waiting in the emergency room because we do not have any beds available,” as per CBS News.

Cook Children’s Medical Center | Credits: Google

She also said that the healthcare facilities have been bracing up for another wave of pediatric patients as kids will head to school after a holiday break.

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