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Close to 300 cases of RSV in BOP in a month

A number of children have contracted the virus in the Bay of Plenty. File photo.

Tauranga Hospital has seen close to 300 cases of RSV in less than a month.

RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a contagious virus that causes infections of the respiratory tract.

While RSV is a common cause of respiratory hospitalisation in infants, reinfection remains common in later life, and it is an important pathogen in all age groups.

Infection rates are typically higher during the cold winter months, causing bronchiolitis in infants, common colds in adults, and more serious respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia in the elderly and immunocompromised.

The virus has been in the media in recent weeks following a surge in cases around the country, including the Bay of Plenty.

Robyn Boyne, Bay of Plenty District Health Board clinical nurse specialist infection prevention and control, says there have been 282 cases of RSV seen through ED and/or admitted to Tauranga hospital from June 21 to July 18.

“Of these, 218 required admission,” says Robyn.

While there were no cases of the virus reported last year, the DHB has 60 recorded for 2019.

As the hospital deals with the virus, Robyn is urging everyone to take as many precautions as possible.

“Please remember to continue with all the measures that helped us stop the spread of Covid-19.

“These include frequent cleaning of hands, physical distancing, cough and sneeze etiquette, consider using a mask if coughing and sneezing, and not going to work/school/childcare centre when sick.”

People are also advised to keep children away from the hospital, as their child is a patient.

 

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