COLORADO SPRINGS — While her curly hair little boy named Landon plays nearby in the park, his mother, Catherine Fontanese, offers a few minutes of her time to give some perspective on the disease RSV.
Landon spent a week in the hospital because of RSV when he was four months old.
“He is my first and only child, and watching him struggle to breathe and the retracting in his chest at such a young age, without him being able to tell me anything was wrong, was very terrifying, especially as a new young parent,“ said Fontanese.
The topic of RSV is important right now because it's sending a lot of kids to the hospital.
Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows 75% of the country's pediatric beds are full, and one of the significant factors behind that is the rise in RSV cases.
Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs, is "seeing a significant uptick of RSV and beginning to see the start of influenza cases,” according to Chief Medical Officer, Michael DiStefano, MD.
RSV is not a new issue, but this year’s early onset is concerning.
“Our pediatric intensive care units (PICU), inpatient units, and emergency departments are operating at remarkably increased volumes," said DiStefano. “It is normal for us to manage increased volumes of patients every winter; however, it is unprecedented and concerning for us to see volumes this high at this point in the year."
“There should definitely be some fear there,” said Fontanese.
She believes you can’t be too cautious.
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