Doctors are sounding the alarm as hospitals across South Florida are seeing an influx of sick kids.
The disease is not COVID-19, but health officials say a lack of mask-wearing has made children more susceptible to a common virus that could be easily treated at home with some rest and maybe some fever reducing medications.
“The most common symptoms of RSV, for example, is just runny nose, some congestion. Nothing alarming, but the problem is that if you are at risk or have an underlying mega condition, that is what is going to push you over the edge and cause more symptoms or problems,” said Dr. Hector Rodriguez-Cortes, Chair of pediatrics, Broward Health Medical Center.
Health professionals at Broward Health Medical Center said some of the county’s youngest patients have thus ended up in the emergency room.
“We have had an influx of patients coming in, and we have had to open up overflow areas,” said Laurie Garcia, interim nurse manager at Broward Health Medical Center.
Over the last week, officials have said they’ve seen an uptick in respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, and they want parents and caregivers of children with underlying conditions and chronic conditions, like asthma, to keep an eye on symptoms in hopes of things not getting progressively worse.
“If you see, however, it’s a trend that you see the patients are slowly are moving from what you think is your baseline and the patient start having symptoms, respiratory symptoms,” said Rodriguez-Cortes, “definitely is a time where you think, you think it’s time to call your pediatrician or perhaps bring your patient to the hospital.”
Broward Health Medical Center officials told 7News 70% of the children in their pediatric intensive unit have some sort of respiratory illness.
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