RSV, delta variant ‘spreading rapidly’ among Houston-area children

Houston hospitals are seeing more children being hospitalized with both COVID and RSV
Houston hospitals are seeing more children being hospitalized with both COVID and RSV

HOUSTON – More children were hospitalized with COVID-19 at Texas Children’s campuses Wednesday night than ever before, and most of them also have the Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV, according to the hospital.

The respiratory virus usually causes more pediatric hospitalizations and deaths worldwide than any other virus. Last year, like other viruses, RSV was mostly dormant.

Now, it’s back with a vengeance.

“What may be happening is the population has become more susceptible because they had not seen this virus in a while,” said Dr. Pedro Piedra at Baylor College of Medicine. “Once it got introduced into our community, it spread rapidly. It’s been in our community for about a month.”

The seasonal virus, which is most dangerous for young infants, especially those six months and younger, usually peaks in the winter and is gone by Spring.

Forty-five children are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 at Texas Children’s, and at least 25 children at its three campuses have both COVID and RSV, the hospital told KPRC2.

Thousands of other kids have been seen at TCH campuses for RSV, but not admitted.

The virus is spread by droplets and begins with cold-like symptoms. Most healthy people and even most babies, according to Texas Children’s website, won’t need hospitalization.

Seek medical care “if your baby is experiencing difficulty breathing or breathing apnea,” the website reads.

“It’s not asthma, but it causes major respiratory distress in young infants,” added Piedra.

He said the safety measures that protect us from COVID also protect us from RSV and other viruses.

“If you know that people are sick, stay away from them because it might not be (COVID), but there are many other respiratory viruses out there that can impact the very young.