UnityPoint reports surge of RSV in kids amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 6:22 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, are climbing among children. The surge comes as kids head back to school and cases of the COVID-19 delta variant climb.

Pediatricians say the typical respiratory illness season came early.

“Usually we see the cases coming up in fall, but it started a little bit early in summer this year. We are seeing RSV, croup, and rhino viruses,” says Dr. Vikram Agrawal, a pediatrician at UnityPoint Health in Bettendorf.

Kids who were quarantined are now being exposed to RSV as school starts and more events draw crowds.

“The kids who would have contracted RSV weren’t out to get it and kids who were born in the pandemic or through the pandemic, they did not see this virus yet. So, these kids are seeing this virus for the first time and they would be more immune to it if that was not the case. At UnityPoint in Bettendorf we have a floor full of RSV kiddos right now which we are dealing with. Some of them are sick enough to get transferred to a bigger hospital like Iowa City or Peoria,” says Dr. Agrawal.

He predicts an increase in cases of both RSV and COVID-19 as school starts.

“I think the school season will be a challenge and the COVID season will be a challenge too but we can handle it,” Agrawal says.

UnityPoint says the normal season for RSV is early fall into winter. RSV can cause congestion, fever, and a loss of appetite. UnityPoint recommends getting your child also tested for COVID-19 if they show symptoms.

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