6 Jun 2021

Rise in severe respiratory virus cases among children worries specialist

8:20 am on 6 June 2021

A South Auckland doctor is worried about a sudden rise in severe respiratory virus cases among children, as winter sets in.

Whooping cough, cough, child coughing, generic

Photo: 123RF

Dr Adrian Trenholme from Kidz First Children's Hospital at Middlemore Hospital said prior to 2020, hundreds of infants were admitted to hospital each year, suffering severe chest infections caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV.

But he said last year there was an 80 percent drop in cases, because of Covid-19 precautions.

"I think it's back to those important public health strategies, washing your hands, coughing and sneezing into your elbow and particularly looking after your babies by keeping away from them young children and old people when you've got respiratory stuff going on.

"It was amazing and particularly great that the disadvantaged kids got a break last year - but it's back."

Dr Trenholme said he is worried because there has already been a rise in RSV cases this year.

He is urging people to continue with frequent hand washing, and coughing and sneezing into elbows.

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