Minnesota sees spike in RSV cases and hospitalizations
A respiratory virus that causes coughs and other cold symptoms is once again driving up hospitalizations in the Twin Cities. But this time, COVID isn't the culprit.
Why it matters: For most people, RSV is a mild virus that resembles a common cold. But it can be serious for infants, young children and seniors.
The big picture: It's not just Minnesota. Physicians across the country have reported seeing more RSV cases in recent weeks, Axios' Herb Scribner writes.
- Case numbers have already reached peak levels from 2021, according to CDC data.
By the numbers: More than 100 patients who were hospitalized in the seven-county Twin Cities metro for the week ending Oct. 22 had RSV, per MDH. Close to 80 of those were children under 1.
- The latest data, released yesterday, shows reported hospitalizations down slightly from the week prior, but still elevated.
What they're saying: An MDH spokesperson told Axios that RSV activity is "a little higher" than usual, and that hospitalizations are "above what we would expect."
- Typically, there would be 40 to 60 hospitalizations in the Twin Cities during peak season, she said.
Driving the spread: A new strain, combined with a cohort of young kids who have had less exposure to illness due to social distancing, Stacene Maroushek, a pediatrician with Hennepin Healthcare, told KSTP.
- Some local experts report seeing a rise in serious cases among slightly older kids this year, too, FOX9 reports.
Of note: RSV isn't the only virus circulating right now. Cases of rhinovirus, another variation of the common cold, are also up from the start of the month, per MDH.
🧠 Be smart: Being sick sucks. Cover your cough, wash your hands, and stay home when you can if you're feeling under the weather. Small steps can go a long way in keeping us all healthy!
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