RSV is part of the shortage of children’s intensive care beds in Collin County

It’s not just COVID-19 that’s filling pediatric intensive care beds in Collin County. The other culprit is RSV. | Shutterstock

Last week, we published an article about the COVID-19 Delta variant causing a severe shortage of pediatric intensive care beds in North Texas.

However, there’s another culprit behind Collin County’s pediatric hospitalizations: a virus called RSV.

What is RSV?

This virus, known as respiratory syncytial virus, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes cold-like symptoms but can be serious for young children, sometimes developing into bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

Cook Children’s reported 190 cases of RSV the week of July 26 to July 30. From the week of August 1 through August 7, Children’s Health recorded 226 positive cases, including 95 in Plano.

According to Mark Mazade, medical director of infection control and prevention at Cook Children, RSV can cause children to be on a ventilator for up to eight weeks.

People with the virus are usually contagious for three to eight days, but those with weakened immune systems remain contagious for up to four weeks. The virus can survive for hours on hard surfaces such as desks and keyboards, making it even more likely to spread when children return to school.

How to avoid getting RSV

Prevent the spread of this virus by taking these simple but effective measures (and ask children to do the same):

  • Cover your cough and sneeze
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Disinfects hard surfaces
  • Wear a mask

If your child gets RSV, be sure to keep them hydrated. Use a fever suppressant like acetaminophen (as advised by your doctor…always check!) and use a vaporizer to keep the air moist and more breathable for the affected child.

Read more: Plano ISD seeks permission to mandate masks in schools.

Learn about the impact of the Covid-19 Delta Variant on Collin County.