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Doctors continue to see an uptick in RSV cases in Maryland

Hospital hallway
Posted at 2:23 PM, Nov 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-24 18:14:14-05

BALTIMORE — This fall has been a busy season for doctors. Not only are they dealing with COVID and flu cases, they’re also seeing an uptick in respiratory syncytial virus better known as RSV.

Hospitals in Maryland are being flooded by a wave of young children with respiratory infections. The uptick of RSV patients have filled the hospital beds forcing many sick children to wait in emergency rooms for hours or be moved to another hospital out of state.

"Rsv, which is a respiratory syncytial virus is a virus, it's very well contagious and spreads through the air and tends to have a seasonality to it and this is it. This is the time of year where we tend to see a lot of those cases, both in the patients that I care for on the adult side, as well as what the especially when the pediatric scenarios," said Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine.

The symptoms include runny nose, fever, and shortness of breath. Many parents can mistake these symptoms for just a common cold but doctors say that's what put kids and some adults in bad shape. If RSV is not treated adequately it can lead to a bigger risk.

"You know your parental instinct, you know if your child is not improving. If that crosses that threshold whatever that should be, call your pediatrician and start implementing your action plan of where to take your child. And same thing for the adults out there, I don't want rsv to be seen as just a child's disease, plenty of my patients with copd and asthma suffer dire consequences, you know your body better than any doctor.. RSV can be fatal in vulnerable populations,"said Galiatsatos.

Governor Hogan allocated $25 million in state funding to prioritize pediatric ICU staffing, but with doctors battling what many call a triple-demic, involving COVID, influenza, and RSV, it may not be enough, which is why they ask Marylanders to do their part.

"If we as doctors are telling you there is a wave, a storm of viral infections coming wrap that facemask. Protect yourself as much as possible, yourself and your children," said Galiatsatos.