A 6-year-old boy from Michigan has died from a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as cases overwhelm pediatric hospitals across the country, officials said.
The Macomb County boy was admitted to Corewell Health Beaumont Troy Hospital and died at 3:41 a.m. Wednesday, the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office told the Detroit Free Press.
“The child was diagnosed in the hospital and survived in the hospital for several hours, I believe, with severe respiratory distress,” Dr. Ljubisa Dragovic, the medical examiner, told the outlet. “He had an RSV infection because it was documented and tested positive in the hospital.”
His identity has not been released.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants under 1-year-old. Typically manifesting in mild, cold-like symptoms, it can cause serious difficulty breathing in young children and older adults. Most children get RSV before their second birthday.
The Post previously reported on the surge in RSV cases earlier this year, as easing COVID-19 restrictions lead to a spate of year-round infections of what is typically a fall and winter virus.
“RSV is affecting our youngest, more vulnerable residents,” Oakland County Medical Director Dr. Russell Faust said in Wednesday’s statement. “We are concerned about RSV, flu and COVID-19 all being widespread as we move into the winter. Get your COVID and flu vaccines when eligible and wash your hands often.”
Some hospitals in the state are nearing capacity, as children mostly under the age of 4 pack emergency rooms with similar symptoms, Detroit News reported.
“Children’s hospitals throughout Michigan are operating near capacity due to a rapid surge of RSV cases and staffing challenges,” John Karasinski, a spokesman for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, told the outlet. “Individuals experiencing worsening symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or dehydration, should seek emergency care immediately.”
A representative for the Oakland County Health Division did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for a comment.