MILWUAKEE — Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in children is rampant across the country, including Wisconsin.
RSV is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and airways.
Medical Director of Children’s Wisconsin Pediatric Critical Care Dr. Michael Meyer joins Wisconsin’s Morning News to discuss who is most vulnerable to the disease and how pediatric clinics in Wisconsin are handling rising cases.
“The group that we’re worried about right now when it comes to children is our youngest children,” Meyer says. “Children under 2 years old, especially 2, 3 and 4 months old and those with underlying chronic conditions.”
Meyer says “the hardest job in the world is being a parent when your child is sick” because it’s hard to determine whether or not to send them to the hospital.
He says to watch out for retractions, tachypnea, signs of dehydration and a significantly high fever.
“Watch how your child breathes,” Meyer says. “Some of the things to watch out for are something we call ‘retractions.’ That’s where the skin between the child’s ribs when they breathe deeply really sucks in, sucks in deeply. Because that gives you an idea of the how hard they work. Breathing really fast is something we call ‘tachypnea’, that’s also important.”
“Signs of dehydration are one of the biggest worries, especially in our little infants,” Meyer continues. “And finally, a fever and not just any fever; significantly high fevers.
Meyer says pediatric facilities in Wisconsin are “full” but “not overwhelmed” thanks to “dedicated” staff.
“We’re busy,” Meyer said. “In terms of capacity, we are full. Wait times are long in emergencies and urgent care. The pediatric clinic offices are busy. The hospital is busy. We have an amazing group of people who are dedicated and passionate about children. Our staff does this work.
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