ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) — Across metro Detroit, there’s growing concern about a rise in cases of RSV among children.
“He was having difficulty breathing during his feedings. He would hold his breath and turn a little bit blue around his mouth,” mother Melissa Parker described of what her own son went through.
As a nurse and parent to 3-week-old Owen, she says many remain unaware of the dangerous virus that spreads through respiratory droplets.
“He was stable for a while and then started having some more respiratory distress. Just increased work of breathing. He did end up requiring ICU care, where he needed to be placed on a ventilator for a short amount of time,” Parker said.
Since September, Corewell Health East, formerly known as Beaumont Health, says they have seen a 777% rise in patients testing positive. As more parents continue to find their children needing medical attention, doctors are hoping to raise more awareness about dangers.
We asked a top expert, “What are the most immediate things for parents to watch out for and if they see those signs, do they need to go seek treatment?”
“It’s a stuffy nose. Mucus, sometimes mucus coming from the eyes, lots of sneezing,” said Dr. Whitney Minnock, who supervises an emergency room for children in Royal Oak.
She added, “I think what we are seeing is going to continue through the winter, and we have a lot of other viruses coming. Pediatric hospitals are trying really hard to get staff we need. It’s going to be a long winter.”
Another concern is the number of beds filling up.
Those who may have symptoms are urged to wash hands frequently and avoid contact with others. Wearing a mask can also help.
In the Owen’s case, recovery has been steady, but his mother worries for other kids.
“ER’s are constantly filling with RSV patients. Every time you go somewhere, people are constantly saying my son or daughter has RSV,” Parker said.