RS viruses, which cause cold symptoms in young children, are often harmless, but in some cases, both tube feeding and respiratory care may be required.
In early October, the pediatric emergency department at Drottning Silvia Children’s Hospital warned of new records of the number of children per day – 231 families then sought emergency care for their children. Chief physician Catherine Adrian then urged parents to keep their children at home.
However, according to the doctor, the infection continues to increase.
– We think that it gets worse every day. We had 245 children last Monday, and it was a new peak. Catherine Adrian says there are more than 200 children a day, compared to an average of 120 a day.
– We do not see a slowdown, but now we see that there are only a few more children every day.
Figures from the Swedish Public Health Agency also show a significant increase in the RS virus in the country.
Some fall on the respiratory tract
The high pressure in the emergency room means that more wards in the hospital need to offer care facilities and staff.
– The staff is under pressure and there are additional queues in all staff categories. We work longer, more intensively and more shifts than we usually do. So we try to run a little faster. Adrian says he’s leaving now, but we don’t know how long it will take.
How dangerous is the RS virus for children?
– The vast majority of children simply go through the common cold and flu. However, some need to be hospitalized and fed with oxygen and tubes. Some fall on the respiratory tract. Deaths are also reported every year.
– In ordinary years, in general, we try to dramatize the concerns of parents, and we say that the vast majority have coped very well. However, this year is a time of intense infection, so we would like parents to be involved and responsible and reduce the spread of infection.
At the same time, Catherine Adrian understands that parents need to meet with other adults.
– It goes well, but not cold people. In general, older siblings of preschool age are infected. Therefore, if you have a baby at home, we think it is important to keep children at home from preschool.
This is the RS virus in children
RS virus infection usually begins with a cold. Almost all children become infected with the RS virus in the first two years of life. The disease is usually mild, but children under one year of age and children at risk can become seriously ill.
Common symptoms of RS infection are:
runny nose, often with a hard mucus
irritated and red eyes
whisper and hiss.