TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are up and officials at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System are urging parents to know the symptoms.
Hospital officials said they’ve seen at least 9 new cases so far this week and over 60 total cases since the beginning of June. Most are pediatric.
RSV can cause severe illness in infants. Health experts say it begins like a cold, but it can quickly become difficult for the child to breathe.
Health providers think the situation is due to the pandemic. “With the masking and hand hygiene practices in place across our community [for COVID-19], we did not have the normal respiratory virus season in the fall and winter like we have in years’ past,” said Ashley Wilson, BSN, RN, CIC, Infection Preventionist.
“We’re in uncharted territory here, having it being in the summer months. So, I don’t think we’re going to have a good guess as to how long this is going to last .. I would encourage parents to seek vaccination … there is a vaccine available,” said Carole Harman, MSA, RN, BSN, FNP, CENP, Administrative Director of Women’s and Children’s Services.
CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System officials said no visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Mother/Baby Unit, or the Labor and Delivery Unit, as a precaution. The policy is in place until further notice.