Hoops Family Children's Hospital responds to RSV surge

Friday, October 28, 2022

Hoops Family Children’s Hospital (HFCH) at Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH), a member of Mountain Health Network (MHN), has joined children’s hospitals across the nation in responding to the unusually high number of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) cases and hospitalizations among children.

Pediatricians at HFCH warn that this RSV surge, paired with the expected rise in COVID-19 cases and the upcoming influenza season, will cause a strain on overall resources.

“We are experiencing an unusually high volume of RSV cases in pediatrics,” said Dr. Eduardo Pino, medical director, HFCH. “This RSV surge occurring right now is earlier than usual and is undoubtedly causing a strain on medical personnel and overall resources, especially since it is impacting hospitals all across the U.S.”

In an effort to prevent an increase in RSV cases, HFCH pediatricians have recommended the following precautions:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or upper shirt sleeve, not hands
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with others, such as kissing, shaking hands, and sharing cups and eating utensils
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and mobile devices
  • Limit the time children spend in potentially contagious settings

“Babies under two months of age are at the highest risk for severe disease,” said Kate Waldeck, M.D., FAAP, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) intensivist at HFCH and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “For families with young children, we recommend cocooning them, which means limiting their exposure to adults and children outside of the household. Good hand washing is also essential. RSV is one of those viruses that live on surfaces like your child’s favorite toy, making it more contagious.”

Parents/guardians with a child who demonstrates cold-like symptoms should contact their child’s pediatrician to determine next steps.

“This has truly been a heroic effort from our medical personnel to address the challenges posed by this recent RSV surge,” Dr. Waldeck said. “We are grateful to our patients and their families for their understanding and patience as we continue to provide advanced medicine and compassionate care to those in our region and our surrounding areas.”