Doctors express concerns after rise in RSV cases in the Mid-West
A concerning number of RSV cases have been detected in the Mid-West.
There has been a major rise in the number of children from Tipperary, Clare, and Limerick with RSV.
Health officials have expressed major concerns about the spike due to the ongoing crisis in Ireland's healthcare system. Hospitals are already suffering from overcrowding after major flu and Covid outbreaks. Not only are Covid and flu cases rising, but more and more children are suffering from respiratory illnesses, including RSV.
Ireland's most overcrowded hospital, University Hospital Limerick, is already buckling under immense pressure. An outbreak like this will only make things even more challenging, says Dr. Marie Casey.
She told RTÉ;
"This obviously makes it very challenging for the local health services and also is increasing the amount of sickness in the community."
"What we're seeing is that there are high numbers of all the different types of infection at the same time, and that obviously is putting an increased burden on our region."
"We're also seeing that people are infected with a number of infections as well, so not only having one virus but maybe having two or even three.
"So, this obviously makes people more ill and more likely to present to health services," she explained.
Most RSV cases have been detected in children, but older members of the population have also tested positive for it.
Doctors have urged parents to look out for the following symptoms;
- A fever
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- A cough
Children may also have croup, which is caused by inflammation of the upper airways.
Other symptoms include wheezing, lack of appetite, and ear infections.
Pneumonia or pneumonitis may occur if it is the first time your child has contracted RSV.
Most children under the age of two will contract RSV especially because it is highly contagious.
Read more about RSV here.