RSV, Flu on the rise as COVID-19 cases continue to trend down

Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:50 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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CENTRAL LOUISIANA. (KALB) - Health officials are concerned as there are rising numbers of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and influenza cases. This is happening as COVID-19 is still circulating, meaning three distinct illnesses are in the air this fall.

The concern lies mostly with young children as younger age groups are contracting the viruses before the typical peak season in the winter. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when kids were out of school and social distancing, they were not exposed to the Flu or RSV as much, meaning their immune systems are not as well equipped to deal with the viruses.

“So, now that restrictions have been lifted and kids are interacting with each other, the rates of the things are going sky high. So now they are being exposed a little later or a little earlier than they would have,” said Dr. Holcombe. “They can get bronchiolitis, which is inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or they can get pneumonia. Some of those kids are going to require hospitalization for oxygen support, but because of the sheer number of cases, most of the hospitals, the E.R.s are overwhelmed with kids with respiratory syncytial virus.”

RSV is typically benign in children, presenting with cold-like symptoms, but without a proper immune response, more children are becoming sicker - earlier.

“They’re being exposed in different ways as a large group whereas normally, it would be a little bit at a time mostly in the fall and winter, now this has occurred much earlier and many many more children,” said Dr. Holcombe.

The Rapides Regional Medical Center announced they have seen an increase in RSV cases:

“Rapides Regional Medical Center has seen a marked increase for inpatient RSV numbers this September and October compared to the same months last year.

Those numbers would also be higher among patients visiting our emergency room, Rapides Urgent Care clinics and pediatricians’ offices.”

- Rapides Regional Medical Center

For more information on RSV, the Flu and COVID-19, CLICK HERE.

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