Pediatricians seeing RSV cases rise in East Texas

Dr. Jeff Glass, Pediatrician with the Children’s Clinic in Lufkin says, they have seen an increase of cases come in just this week.
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 7:19 PM CDT
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EAST TEXAS (KTRE) -The state of Texas is currently seeing a rise in RSV hospitalizations.

Health experts say hospital beds in Texas for children are 90 percent full.

The CDC says it is estimated around 58,000 kids under the age of five are hospitalized each year because of RSV.

Dr. Jeff Glass, Pediatrician with the Children’s Clinic in Lufkin says, they have seen an increase of cases come in just this week.

“Definitely seeing it in the clinic and the ER. Yesterday I admitted a four-month-old with RSV, we had a two-month-old up in Rusk with RSV, I had a two-and-a-half-year-old yesterday in the clinic with RSV so they are starting to pile in,” Glass said.

Dr. James Davis with UT Health in Tyler says it is transmitted most frequently though direct contact.

“Think like a kid who has some mucus drainage, or runny nose, touching his nose then touching a doorknob, then you touching that same doorknob and then touching your face,” Davis said.

Symptoms of RSV are runny nose, cough, wheezing, rapid breathing, fever, and loss of appetite.

While anyone can get RSV at any age, RSV is particularly dangerous in infants.

Glass says RSV is something they usually see in the wintertime to early spring.

“We’re seeing it earlier because the kids aren’t terribly immune to it. For the last three years kids have been kind of protected and we’ve been doing our best to prevent people from getting infections, and now there are a lot of kids out there that don’t have any immunity to RSV and so they are all starting to pick it up,” Glass said.

Davis says they treat RSV differently depending on the severity of the symptoms.

“You can have very mild symptoms that you can treat at home, with covering fevers with Tylenol or Motrin need be, managing congestion with nasal saline sprays, sometime shower steaming to loosen the mucus and get it out, but some kinds need pretty severe care up to the ICU level,” Davis said.

Both pediatricians we spoke to say the best way to prevent RSV is washing your hands often and staying home when you are sick to avoid spreading the virus.