8 Jul 2021

RSV: critical research needed as cases soar post-bubble

From Nine To Noon, 9:22 am on 8 July 2021

ESR virologist Dr Sue Huang is calling for more, and urgent, research into the contagious and potentially fatal respiratory virus RSV, as case numbers soar among babies and children, inundating hospitals.

The most recent weekly numbers of Respiratory Syncytial Virus reported by New Zealand's national virus laboratory network show cases started climbing sharply in June, reaching 538 cases in the last week of the month alone.

The current increase of cases is linked to the re-opening of our borders with Australia in late-April.

Starship hospital is postponing surgeries to make room for an influx of children needing treatment, and latest reports show Wellington is also experiencing an alarming growth of RSV, with 26 children now in Wellington Regional Hospital, including three babies in intensive care.