Across the country, the number of reports of children hospitalized with the RS virus is increasing. Just like last year, more kids will end up in the hospital this summer after contracting RS. This may be due to the lack of antibodies as a result of corona measures. Isala in Zwolle is also seeing an increase. There are currently three children infected with the virus. “In winter, this number is completely normal. But in recent weeks, there have been a few children with the virus in the pediatric ward at a time.”
Remarkably, this number is now increasing. He. She RS (respiratory syncytial) virus is a cold virus that appears mainly in winter, between November and March. It is the most common cold in children. According to the RIVM, nearly all children are infected with this virus before they are one year old.
It’s not a matter of high numbers yet, but there are currently more patients with RS than usual at this time of year at Wilhelmina Assen (WZA) and Martini Hospital in Groningen. Last summer, there was also a peak in the number of children hospitalized with respiratory problems after contracting the virus.
A small part of the hospital
RS is the most common cold virus in children. Almost all babies get it in the first year of their life. But a very small percentage end up in the hospital after being infected. This can happen if they become short of breath or develop pneumonia.
UMCG virologist Bert Nesters attributes the unusual revival of the RS virus for this time of year to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the measures were lifted in March, the virus has been spreading a lot, according to data from RIVM. “Because of the lockdowns and measures taken in recent years, more viruses have lost their way,” says Nesters. It also points to the seriousness of childhood hepatitis, which the World Health Organization warned against last spring. Four children were admitted to the UMCG, three of whom underwent a liver transplant.
According to Nesters, a possible explanation that more children end up in hospital with RS virus is that mothers have not come into contact with RS virus during pregnancy and therefore cannot pass the antibodies on to their children. Babies born to mothers who became infected during pregnancy are well protected from the virus for much of their first year of life.
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