MONDAY, Aug. 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A rise in cases of a common childhood disease called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is unfolding just as coronavirus infections are increasing among children.
RSV is a highly contagious, flu-like illness that causes symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing and fever, and is more likely to affect children and older adults, The New York Times reported.
There's been a rise in RSV cases since early June, with a notable spike in the past month, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show.
The sudden increase in cases is unusual because RSV typically begins to spread in the fall, the Times reported. Even more troubling, more children are showing up in hospitals with COVID-19 as the highly contagious Delta variant takes over the country.
"After many months of zero or few pediatric COVID cases, we are seeing infants, children and teens with COVID pouring back into the hospital, more and more each day," Dr. Heather Haq, a pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, said in a series of Twitter posts.
Patients have ranged in age from 2 weeks to 17 years, and some have also had COVID-19 pneumonias, according to Haq, chief medical officer for the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children's, the Times reported.
"We are on the front end of a huge Covid surge," Haq wrote. "We are now having winter-level patient volumes of acutely ill infants/toddlers with RSV, and I worry that we will run out of beds and staff to handle the surge upon surge."
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on RSV.