Close to 400 RSV cases seen in BOP to date

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

Hospitals across the country, including the Bay of Plenty, are reporting an ease of cases of RSV.

Unusually high rates of the disease have been reported throughout New Zealand this winter.

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.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board clinical nurse specialist infection prevention and control Robyn Boyne says there is a general downward trend in the number of cases being seen.

“But we are still seeing new cases in both adults and children.

“There are currently two children and one adult in ICU with RSV.”

In terms of statistics, Robyn says there were five adults and 39 children seen by June 25 this year.

“By August 1, there have been 104 adults and 269 children in total.”

Robyn says not all of these cases were admitted to the hospital, as some were assessed in ED and sent home.

“The children’s ward still has some cases of RSV but it is no longer the main reason for admission.

“The hospital is coping well, especially given that it is a very busy time in general currently for patient admission numbers (for many different reasons).”

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