Hospitals report big uptick in RSV cases, with 1 hospital calling the caseload 'record breaking'

Elaina Athans Image
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
RSV spikes, hospitals report 'record breaking' caseload
Triangle hospitals are seeing a substantial spike in RSV cases; representatives for WakeMed even believe the caseload is breaking records.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Triangle hospitals are seeing a substantial spike in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases; representatives for WakeMed even believe the caseload is breaking records.

That hospital group saw nearly 500 RSV cases in September. Last week, doctors added another 160 positive cases, and so far this week another 90.

"This is likely a record number in a single week and a record number for a four-week period during the season. This is definitely a lot of RSV," WakeMed Infection Prevention Specialist Jessica Dixon said.

What's potentially even more troubling is that Dixon can't say if the RSV cases are peaking or will just keep climbing.

"There's so much of this out there and we are seeing high numbers of admissions for RSV as well, so we are definitely busy with this," she said.

The RSV uptick is not confined to WakeMed. UNC Health is also experiencing a similar spike, seeing more than 100 cases last week.

"This is early in the year to be seeing that," UNC Health Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. David Weber said. "During the entire pandemic, from 2020 to the present, we have been seeing non-typical outbreaks and increase in cases in different times."

Other respiratory viruses are going around as well. Cases are up for rhinovirus and flu numbers are starting to increase as well. WakeMed said the number of positive flu cases nearly quadrupled in the last month.

Arimentha Davis has four kids under the age of eight and was a bit worried taking them to a public park while RSV cases are rising.

"We just try to be as careful as we can," Davis said. "I don't want to live in fear all the time, but of course I am concerned when we go places. I don't want them to get sick."

In order to keep your children safe, medical professionals recommend staying up-to-date on all vaccines. Getting the flu shot and a COVID booster can help keep those viruses from taking hold in your household.

Weber suggests practicing good hygiene and considering having your children wear a face covering while at school or daycare.

"Masks will protect them and certainly, help protect you from them bringing it home and you missing work as well," Weber said.