RSV cases reaching 'seasonal peak levels,' CDC says

Hospitals across the country are seeing a significant surge of respiratory syncytial virus, NBC News reported Oct. 14. 

The volume of RSV patients is "two to three times what we've ever experienced," John Bradley, MD, medical director of infectious diseases at San Diego-based Rady Children's Hospital, said in the report.

Last week, nearly 5,000 tests came back positive for RSV, according to CDC data. "Some regions are nearing seasonal peak levels," a CDC spokesperson told NBC News.

One physician from Baystate Children's Hospital in Springfield, Mass., said her pediatric ICU was closed to new patients Oct. 12 because all beds were filled. During a normal winter, her emergency room sees around 100 children a day. Now it is seeing 130 to 150, many with RSV.

Many hospitals are sending patients to nearby states. A physician at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I., said his hospital has been treating RSV patients from more than 100 miles away.

At Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago, the emergency room is seeing a 150 percent higher volume than usual for October, and up to one-third of its ICU and emergency patients have RSV.

Physicians told NBC News that RSV is spreading earlier this year and is becoming more severe in some children because of a lack of exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic due to masking and social distancing.


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