Respiratory Syncytial Virus overwhelms local hospitals

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Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 12:35 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - According to doctors, the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) has returned with a vengeance among newborn to school-age children in South Carolina.

Dr. Deborah Greenhouse is a primary care physician at Palmetto Pediatrics in Columbia. She confirmed the uptick of positive RSV cases on Thursday.

“Generally [RSV] is thought of as a winter virus. In reality, RSV has always been circulating at a low level throughout the year. But this year is different,” said Dr. Greenhouse.

According to the accredited pediatrician, RSV has ‘slammed’ South Carolina with a triple in positive cases from August to October. Simultaneously, her clinic has reported an uptick in positive Influenza-A testing.

“And it’s been very, very busy. We know that our children’s hospital emergency room and our children’s hospital inpatient wards have been incredibly busy. And that trickles down.”

Dr. Greenhouse theorizes the RSV uptick is due to prolonged quarantine. She says two years of staying indoors prevented children from developing an immune response.

“And now that things are back to normal… that allows these viruses to start circulating again and suddenly everyone is getting sick because their immune systems are saying, ‘hey, I haven’t seen this before.’”

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