Health officials report spike in RSV cases after COVID restrictions are lifted

Young children most at risk

The pandemic precautions kept most of the normal childhood illness away but now that many of those precautions are gone children are getting sick again.
The pandemic precautions kept most of the normal childhood illness away but now that many of those precautions are gone children are getting sick again.

DETROIT – The pandemic precautions kept most of the normal childhood illness away but now that many of those precautions are gone children are getting sick again.

The situation had led to an increase in an illness that is not normally seen much in the summer months. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common respiratory illness from September to April.

According to the CDC the number of cases has skyrocketed this summer. They want parents and pediatricians to be on guard, especially in very young children.

Read: Common cold starts to spread fast as COVID restrictions are lifted

When all three of their children developed runny noses, Jenna Giddens said she and her wife didn’t think much of it.

“We kind of thought the season changed and it’s just allergies, except it didn’t go away,” Giddens said.

When one of their 5-month-old twins started struggling to breathe they became concerned. They went to the ER where Everett tested positive for RSV and was admitted to the ICU. Twin sister Murphy soon followed.

After three days of oxygen and fluids the Giddens and their girls returned home where they were reunited with their big brother Hayes. He also tested positive but is on the mend. Giddens urges other parents to be aware.

RSV usually causes mild cold symptoms but it can be very serious for babies because it can cause inflammation in the small airways of the lungs. It also is the most common cause of pneumonia in children under the age of 1. Doctors believe the unusual summer surge is connected to the pandemic.

Symptoms of RSV in infants may include irritability, poor feeding, lethargy and sometimes fever. Older children may develop a runny nose, decreased appetite, cough, sneezing, fever and sometimes wheezing.

Read: Continuous health coverage


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.