Press Releases

February 9, 2011

HSC Children's seeing increased cases of respiratory infections in newborns

Parents reminded to take precautions to protect infants

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.

"These types of respiratory infections can be very serious. Children under one year may develop severe diseases and require hospitalization," Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg said.

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 or wiping the noses of your children, or after being around any ill person."

She noted recently a high number of young children have presented to hospital requiring medical treatment, including wearing oxygen masks and even being put on a ventilator. RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) 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. The increase in admissions due to RSV started in mid-December and so far the hospital has seen:

106 admissions to Children's Hospital

19 patients required admission to PICU

Based on age at time of admission:

  • 9 admissions were < 28 days (30 PICU days)

  • 44 admissions were between 1 and 6 months (40 PICU days)

  • 23 admissions were between 6 and 12 months

  • 30 admission were > 1 year

  • 52 admissions were from outside Winnipeg (non R2 and R3 postal codes)

  • 10 of these admissions were from Nunavut

An additional 21 patients were seen in the Emergency Department, treated and released.

More information on the disease and how to prevent it is available online at

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