Doctors Say RSV Cases Increasing Across OKC-Metro
OKLAHOMA CITY - A frightening warning for parents: doctors say the number of RSV cases, a dangerous and sometimes fatal illness for babies, are way up across the metro this year.
It is the scariest of scenarios for new parents. Just one week after the Dollens family brought their newborn baby home, she was rushed to the hospital.
“We didn’t know what it was at the time, we just knew something was wrong with her breathing,” said Mickey Dollens.
Little Elvy was diagnosed with RSV and spent a next week at Integris Baptist.
“There were just kids everywhere with it,” said Dollens.
At Norman Regional, a spokesperson said they have a record number of pediatric hospitalizations.
Doctors said that's mostly because of RSV.
“This year, it’s about two to three times what it was last year and the year before,” said Dr. Rosemary Ayitey, MD, while pointing to a graph.
RSV usually causes cold like symptoms, but it can be very serious in babies and children under two when it gets into the lungs.
“These little ones, they have tiny bronchial and if it gets blocked with all the secretions, it can be fatal,” said Dr. Ayitey.
Dr. Ayitey said to take little ones to doctor or hospital if they appear to have a cold but then become lethargic, lose their appetite, are possibly irritable, and are having difficulty breathing.
And she said all parents right now can and should be taking steps to keep their baby from getting sick.
“The key, number one, is bulb suction, get rid of the secretions. Number two, keep them at home,” said Dr. Ayitey.
Little Elvy was finally able to breath on her own and go home. Dollens said she's been fine ever since.
Dr. Ayitey said there is also a shot that can be given to very little babies to prevent RSV.