SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Officials at Baystate Children’s Hospital said the amount of cases of a respiratory virus common in children has doubled from last year.
They said Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is highly contagious and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and viral pneumonia in children under one year old.
Though a common virus at this time of year, officials at the children’s hospital said this year’s strain is different. Not only have they cared for double the amount of patients, but the symptoms children are experiencing appear to be more serious.
They said in the past few weeks, several of their patients have been cared for in the Baystate Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Others were hospitalized in different areas of the children’s hospital.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each year, about 58,000 children under the age of five are hospitalized with the infection.