RS virus is a highly contagious virus that strikes every year. Babies and young children can become so short of breath that they need to be hospitalized. Almost all young children contract the virus in their lifetime. The younger the child, the greater the chance that he will end up in the intensive care unit.
At first it looks like a cold. The virus is spread through the air by coughing or sneezing.
expect a raise
It’s also starting to get busier in Dutch hospitals, notes pediatrician Karole Ellie of the Dutch Pediatric Association. “There are regional differences. Especially in the south of the Netherlands, there is more pressure on sponsorship. This therefore leads to relocations here and there, which happens quite often.”
The situation in the Netherlands is manageable. “It’s not as sharp yet as it is in Germany,” Elie says. There are really big concerns out there. Doctors in intensive care wards have warned that the RS virus is causing a “catastrophic” situation in hospitals there.
According to the German intensive care association Divi, fewer than 100 pediatric IC beds are currently free. This is an average of 0.75 ICU beds per hospital. The situation is expected to deteriorate further. The problem is basically a shortage of staff.
Acute care is at risk
“If the predictions are correct, the coming days and weeks will become considerably more intense,” Sebastian Brenner, head of pediatrics at the University Hospital Dresden, told German news channel NTV.
In specific cases, doctors are already no longer able to provide acute care. d said. Michael Sass, Head of the Department of Pediatric Intensive Care at the University Hospital Hannover v. NDR Broadcaster.
In the Netherlands there are a total of about 100 IC beds for children. It is spread across the seven academic hospitals in the Netherlands.
No maternity visit
Hospitals in Belgium are also sounding the alarm. Especially in Brussels they are having a hard time. Earlier this week, the beds were no longer available at three hospitals there.
Flemish virologist Stephen van Gucht has called for postponing maternity visits and meetings with babies. It is also advised to observe the hygiene measures that we still know from Corona: washing hands, ventilating, and wearing a mask. “Good winter habits can make all the difference.”
Maria witnessed that the RS virus can be very severe. You can see that in this video from last year:
The RS virus reappears every year, with new parents worrying about their sick child. There is good hope that this suffering can be prevented in the future. The first vaccine against the RS virus was approved by the European Union last month.
In recent years, an average of 2,500 children have been hospitalized with the virus each year. The peak is always in the winter months, but the shift has been visible due to the corona pandemic and lockdowns.
RIVM says recovery is now following its natural cycle again. “The rate of increase is comparable to that seen at the start of the RS virus season in the years leading up to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The graph above shows that infections are rising sharply in the Netherlands (red line). Week numbers on the horizontal axis. The vertical axis shows the number of RS virus detections in laboratories.
In Western countries, the virus rarely causes deaths, but it does result in many hospitalizations. However, it is the second leading cause of death for infants and young children worldwide. Only malaria is the deadliest.
What are the symptoms of RS virus infection?
At first the child catches a cold and begins to sniff and cough. After a day or two, the RS virus can cause lung problems. This can happen especially if the child is still an infant. Symptoms after that are:
- Rapid breathing
- Between the ribs, pulling the skin inward on inhalation
- The gills move visibly with respiration (this is called a gill)
- Drinking is not good
- Sometimes suddenly not breathing for a few seconds
- The skin turns grey/blue around the mouth and under the nails
- Drowsiness: Your baby seems drowsy and difficult to wake
Children can also get ear infections from the RS virus.
Source: home doctor