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Hundreds of Children Hospitalized in Houston due to RSV

Posted by feww on January 10, 2014

Dangerous respiratory virus lands more than 800 Children in Houston hospitals

Hundreds of children have been hospitalized in Houston, Texas, suffering from the highly contagious respiratory virus Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to health officials.

Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. Most otherwise healthy people recover from RSV infection in 1 to 2 weeks. However, infection can be severe in some people, such as certain infants, young children, and older adults.  —CDC

RSV is a highly contagious viral disease that can lead to serious health problems—especially among young children and older adults.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Image
The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is responsible for a common childhood illness. There is no vaccine available to prevent RSV infection. Credit: NIAID

The virus is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia among infants up to 12 months of age in the United States. Additionally, RSV is more often regarded as an important cause of respiratory illness in older adults, according to CDC.

Meanwhile, health officials said at least 13 patients have died from H1N1 virus in Houston, and more than 20 from flu in north Texas since late December.

At least 600 patients tested positive in December for RSV, officials with Texas Children’s Hospital told the Houston Chronicle.

More than 140 pediatric patients have been admitted to another Houston hospital since October 2013, the Chronicle said.

RSV causes influenza-like symptoms and can be life-threatening to infants. The virus is most active during the winter months and has no vaccine.


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