BC Children's Hospital ER sees increase in respiratory viruses

Respiratory virus on the rise?

British Columbia's Children's Hospital is sounding the alarm over an increase in the number of patients who have shown up at the hospital with respiratory viruses.

CTV News Vancouver is reporting a nearly 30 per cent jump in all emergency department visits from mid-September to mid-October at B.C. Children's Hospital were for respiratory-related illnesses.

That's an increase of nearly 10 per cent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most common cases involve respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza, and the cases are starting to come in earlier than normal.

B.C. Children's Hospital indicated they did not see any reported cases of RSV last year. RSV is a common cold virus that can cause bronchiolitis and mild illness in young infants. The emergency department has also done increased testing for COVID-19 and of more than 1,200 tests done over the past month, less than two per cent were positive.

B.C. Children’s Hospitals is asking parents to monitor their children's symptoms if they show any signs of difficulty breathing, grunting sounds, or turning pale or blue, they should head straight to emergency.

-With files from CTV News Vancouver

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