DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Cases of a common respiratory illness typically only seen during the winter are now spiking in North Texas.
âThis has been a very unusual summer for us,â said Dr. Sheree Guimont, a pediatrician at MD Kids Pediatrics.READ MORE: Burning, Dismembered Bodies Update: Jason Thornburg Charged With Capital Murder, Fort Worth Police Say
RSV can be a serious – even fatal – concern, especially for very young children.
Outbreaks of the virus usually begin in October and last through March, but COVID-19 precautions may have delayed the normal RSV season.
âThis virus has had a moment to kind of break loose and is causing its normal havoc now,â Dr. Guimont said.
Last week, Childrenâs Health in Dallas saw 262 cases of the virus.
Cook Childrenâs in Fort Worth had 204 RSV patients, which is nearing peak winter numbers in previous years.READ MORE: CBP Officers Intercept $24M In Methamphetamine At Camino Real Cargo Facility
âNow that people are feeling more comfortable taking their masks off, weâre seeing RSV really surge back,â said Dr. Gary Floyd, a pediatrician and American Academy of Pediatrics board member.
Doctors say RSV vases were virtually non-existent during the last season, which was an unintended but positive consequence of the pandemic.
âWe were masked, we were socially distanced,â said Dr. Dawn D. Johnson, medical director of Childrenâs Health Primary Care Clinic. âOur children were not out and about in public as much and bringing the virus home. We were disinfecting. All of those things that prevent respiratory illnesses, we were doing them as a city and as a nation.â
A new CDC report also credits those measures for bringing both flu and RSV cases to historic lows in 2020.
Itâs not clear yet why the flu still isnât very prevalent, but RSV infections began to increase in April.
âWe anticipate that as things continue to open more, we will see more respiratory illnesses,â Dr. Johnson said.MORE NEWS: Prepare For Winter Heating Sticker Shock: Cost Of Natural Gas Up 180%
Doctors say the data shows turning back to some COVID-19 prevention efforts could help stop the RSV summer surge from getting worse.