Hospitalizations of infants and children under 2 years of age for bronchiolitis, a disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), have grown by around 40 percent in Seville in recent days, which has forced some private hospitals in the city to send patients to the Vany of the dew, virgin Macarena and Valme, lThe three main public hospitals in Seville. The situation is not yet as worrying as in Madrid or Barcelona, where pediatric emergencies have completely collapsed but no doctor or health official knows exactly when this infection will peak, the true pandemic of children under five. More than 100,000 died worldwide in 2019 from respiratory infections related to this virus, the vast majority in low- and middle-income countries, with 33 million respiratory symptoms related to RSV and 3.6 million hospitalizations for this reason. “Covid is ridiculous by comparison,” say some pediatricians.
More than last Sunday 300 pediatric emergencies in the Virgen del Rocío and many others in the Institute of Pediatrics of Seville. “Many of them were due to the VSR and we are overbooking at the moment,” emphasizes the President, Alfonso Carmona, who also presides over the official medical college of Seville. This pediatrician recalls: “We are facing a massive outbreak that has engulfed the ER in Barcelona and has already arrived here where it is softening very sharply this year Both in public and private hospitals. None of them were free from this disease, making it necessary to refer patients from private healthcare to public healthcare.
“There are many cases in intensive care units, especially in newborns and infants, because the virus causes them to not be well oxygenated,” he explains. Carmona, who points out that there is no vaccine against this disease yet, but that in Seville they work and have with pregnant women opened a clinical study with a. “I recommend vaccinating all children against the flu because it prevents the simultaneous presence of multiple viruses in this population, which greatly worsens the prognosis.”
Jose Miguel CisnerosHead of the Department of Infectious Diseases Virgen del Rocío Hospital in Seville, He agrees, insisting that “we already have the flu virus with us and that’s why vaccination and extending the flu shot to children is so important to reduce this infection, hospitalizations and severe forms of infection, pneumonia and some caused deaths.
This expert emphasizes that “Bronchiolitis usually affects children under the age of two, with a peak age of three to six months. It is a common, sometimes serious, disease and more than half of babies are exposed to this virus in their first year of life. The current situation in our hospital is an increase in respiratory infections from RSV, the main target of which are newborns and children as young as a few months in the most severe cases, they have to be hospitalized”.
Cisneros reminds that this virus causes cancer patients and colds in adults and in immunocompromised people transplanted from hematopoietic progenitors It can cause severe pneumonia with an uncertain prognosis.
Both Cisneros and Carmona agree that RSV behaves differently each year and that this year is more pronounced than other normal years “Due to the absence of major epidemics in previous years, due to the mask requirement, which has reduced the immune protection of children in the last two years”. “Your immune system isn’t trained to fight this virus,” Carmona says.
Cisneros emphasizes that the isolation of the infected is important. «We still do not have a vaccine against this virus, although it is being studied, but we have vaccines against pneumococci, a bacterium that causes pneumonia and severe cases of meningitis. It is important that they are administered, just like those of the coronavirus and the flu, ”he emphasizes.
Masks are still mandatory in hospitals and, according to this expert, should remain so. “Many cases of severe flu were being transmitted in hospitals before Covid because many viruses are grouped in them. Masks prevented that and must now continue to prevent it,” he says.
“It’s a massive outbreak that public and private healthcare are working together to manage.”
President of the Seville Institute of Pediatrics and the College of Physicians of Seville
“It is important that children are vaccinated against the flu and I also recommend pneumococcal vaccination”
Jose Miguel Cisneros
Head of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Virgen del Rocío Hospital in Seville
The collusion of RSV, coronavirus and influenza viruses is too worrying a cocktail not to take precautions. “The percentage increase in RSV positives corresponds to the number of hospital admissions, which is not currently the case with the coronavirus. whose line is stable and ascending but is not reflected during hospitalizations, showing that the vaccine is protective Much better than this time last year when more revenue was being generated«. And he adds: »The situation is more stable than last year and fortunately the new variants are not coming about. The response to the vaccine is more subdued but does not reduce clinical protection.”
The Spanish Society for Pediatric Emergencies (SEUP) issued a statement a few days ago expressing “its concern and uncertainty about the unexpected volume of supplies in pediatric emergencies throughout the Spanish territory in recent months”, which has led to that in some emergencies, «Up to 40% more cases are being treated than before the pandemic». The SEUP highlights that the increase in the three viruses (RSV, influenza and Covid) is mainly registered in children between the ages of zero and four: «Our main concern is that at the moment we do not know when it will go a way. to reach the maximum peak, nor whether the severity of cases will be greater than other times of the year, or for how many months this epidemic will converge with the infection of other epidemic viruses like the flu and already endemic like Covid-19. The SEUP points out that the increase in the three viruses is mainly registered in children between the ages of zero and four.