Child RSV cases are increasing in Arkansas hospitals

Little Rock, Arkansas – As the season for upper respiratory illnesses continues, a number of children are being admitted with RSV to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and other hospitals.

That’s accurate. The season of large parties is also the time when kids are most likely to get RSV. You should still enjoy the holidays despite this, there are steps you can take to keep your loved ones safe.

“I think it’s really important if you’ve got a baby that you try to hold them close to us…That we try to control their environment. If you’re going to go visit family I’d try to screen ahead of time… Is everyone that’s going to be there well. If someone’s going to be holding the baby let’s have them wash their hands first and if they’re coughing or sneezing let’s hold off on spending time with the baby right now,” UAMS, Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics/Chief of the Division General Internal Medicine, Dr. Robert Hopkins said.

Pediatric patients with Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, are flooding hospitals such as Arkansas Children’s.

Every year, RSV causes thousands of hospital admissions and the deaths of hundreds of newborns and early children.

“RSV is the number one cause of hospitalization in kids for bronchiolitis and pneumonia and also causes an number of outpatient visits for those conditions. What does that look like? Often children will start out with a stuffy nose… Runny nose a little bit of fussiness followed by cough and then they can develop tremendous amounts of runny nose and worsening cough,” Hopkins said.

Mother Elicia Dover talked about how she had first-hand experience with RSV a few years ago, after battling to get her 5-month-old vaccined.

“My son Eli had RSV when he we just 11 weeks old and watching your baby struggle to breathe is one of the scariest things you can possibly experience as a parent,” Dover said.

Experiencing a packed hospital firsthand.

“He was hospitalized for three days at children’s hospital and thank god we made it out. And everything was fine, but that floor was filled with babies that were on ventilators that were really sick kids and so it’s really scary. I mean it’s a horrible disease and I know every year children’s is just flooded with kids that have RSV,” Dover said.

This holiday season, UAMS provided advice on how to keep your kids safe while you’re out and about.

“Was your hands on a regular basis use hand sanitizer… You know be careful about touching common surfaces and that kind of thing. Never a bad idea to use one of these things to have a mask that you can use around others,” Hopkins said.

Vaccinations are also advised.

The sickest children in their care are said to be the ones receiving the FDA-approved injections, as there is a restricted quantity of these. However, they do recommend that, in order to help reduce the spread of respiratory infections, families and eligible children obtain the other vaccine.

Executive Vice President and Chief Officer of Arkansas Children’s Health System Rick Barr remarked “While busy, all of our clinics, hospitals, and emergency rooms are well-stocked and organized. Since we are the only pediatric health system in the state, we make every effort to be there for any child that needs us.
The CDC is distributing 77,000 RSV vaccinations for kids in an effort to reduce the number of cases of RSV.77,000 RSV vaccinations for children are being distributed by the CDC in an effort to reduce the number of RSV cases.


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