ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Hospitals in the Capital Region are continuing to see a surge in respiratory illnesses, including RSV, in children. Albany Medical Center is seeing a higher patient volume than normal, with 36 patients in their hospital including eight in the pediatric and neo-natal intensive care units.
Dr. Danielle Wales, Physician, said this year is an anomaly with cases for both RSV and the flu happening earlier than usual — peak cases typically happening between December and February. “Time will tell what this RSV season does,” Wales said. “I think this season seems to be an anomaly and likely we’ll go back to normal in the next few years.”
The CDC issued new guidance on Friday, recommending vigilance as flu season begins and more people see non-COVID related respiratory viruses. “We are starting to get cases of the flu in the community and this also a little bit earlier,” Wales said. “We’ve seen a lot of folks getting their flu vaccine so we’re optimistic people are getting the best protection they can.”
Wales said one to three percent of children who are diagnosed with RSV become hospitalized and not every case of RSV requires emergency treatment. Typical cases will seem like common colds, but if your child is showing difficulty breathing or not eating or drinking, she said it is best to seek care.
A vaccine is also in development, Pfizer recently conducted trials for their vaccine, which is administered to pregnant women. Trials showed significant prevention among babies up to three months old. “The pregnant mother, while she’s pregnant and gets the vaccine, she will pass that immunity onto the baby and the recent studies show that this may be a very effective way to prevent our youngest babies from getting RSV,” Wales said.