Press Releases

Thursday, January 3, 2013

HSC Children's seeing increased number of young children with respiratory infections

Parents reminded to take precautions to protect infants

Parents are being reminded by the Medical Director of the WRHA Child Health Program today to take appropriate steps to prevent respiratory infections in their newborns. This public reminder is being issued as Health Sciences Centre Children’s Hospital is seeing an increase in the number of cases of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) causing bronchiolitis.

“These types of respiratory infections can be very serious. Babies less than 12 months old are most vulnerable to contracting bronchiolitis from respiratory infections and may require hospitalization,” said Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg.

Basic hygiene and common sense are the best methods of prevention for these infections Dr. Greenberg advised. “Keep babies away from public crowded areas like shopping malls and schools where there may be people with colds or other illnesses. Most importantly, remember to wash your hands frequently -especially after touch your face, the face of your child and after contact with any other person who is ill.”

She noted recently a high number of young children have presented to hospital requiring admission and specialized treatment, including wearing oxygen masks and even being put on a ventilator. Bronchiolitis is an infection of the small airways in the lungs. It can occur all year round, but is most common during the winter months. The following numbers reflect cases since August 2012 but an increase in admissions started in mid-December:

  • 149 lab confirmed cases
  • 85 admissions to Children’s Hospital in December
  • 29 admissions in November
  • 12 admissions in less than 28 days
  • 63 admissions were between 1 and 6 months
  • 87 admissions were from outside Winnipeg (non R2 and R3 postal codes)
  • 43 of the 149 cases were seen in Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, treated and released

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