Outbreaks of RS Virus reported in parts of the Netherlands
Young children in parts of the Netherlands, especially in Rotterdam and other areas in the southwest, are presenting with the RS virus. What makes this strange is that RS normally only occurs in winter. "I have never seen this before. It is really weird that the virus is here now," Louis Bont, pediatrician and professor of respiratory infections at UMC Utrecht, said to NOS.
The RS virus can be dangerous, especially for very young children. While children die of the virus worldwide, the Netherlands' top-class pediatric intensive care can usually prevent that, Bont said. The virus presents as a cold and can leave children very short of breath, or even develop into pneumonia.
Bont attributes this outbreak of RS to social distancing rules implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic. People usually build up resistance against the virus through contact with people who have it. But social distancing and other coronavirus measures prevented that. He spoke of a "delayed RS epidemic", though he doesn't expect the virus will spread much further.
Parents are advised to be extra vigilant when their children have cold-like symptoms, especially when it comes to babies under two months of age.