January 8, 2009

Respiratory Infections are in Community

WRHA Child Health Program Issues Reminder to New Parents Respiratory Infections in Newborns Can Be Serious

The Medical Director of the WRHA Child Health Program today issued a public reminder to parents of newborns today to take appropriate steps to prevent respiratory infections in their newborns.

"Respiratory infections (Bronchiolitis or RSV) can be very serious," Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg said. "Children under one year can develop very severe diseases that can require hospitalization."

Dr. Greenberg said basic hygiene and common sense are the best ways to prevent the disease. "Keep infants away from places where there are people with colds like shopping malls or schools."

"But most importantly, remember to wash your hands frequently especially after coughing or sneezing, blowing your nose and being with an ill person."

She noted there recently has been a high number of young children presenting to hospital and requiring medical treatment, including wearing oxygen masks and even being put on a ventilator. RSV or Bronchiolitis is an infection of the small airway in the lungs. It can occur all year round, but is most common during the winter months.

- 62 admissions to Children's Hospital

- 9 patients required admission to PICU

- Based on age at time of admission:

  • 27 admissions were < 28 days

  • 8 admissions were between 1 and 6 months

  • 18 admissions were > 1 year

  • 16 admissions were from outside Winnipeg

  • The increase in admissions due to RSV started at the end of November

  • Other respiratory viruses such as adenovirus were responsible for 25 hospital admissions so far this season.

For More Information

Preventing Respiratory Infections in Newborn Babies

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