Hospitals prepare for winter as state sees earlier-than-normal surge in RSV infections
In late September, Maryland emergency rooms began seeing a surge in children — many of them very young — struggling to breathe because of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, known as RSV. According to a Maryland Department of Health dashboard that tracks the virus, the number of hospitalizations leapt from 33 in the last week of September to 257 in the final week of October. Because Maryland typically sees its RSV numbers spike in late November and December, this year’s surge sent emergency departments, urgent care centers and pediatricians scrambling. Thankfully, the state’s RSV case rate plateaued quickly. By the end of November, hospitalizations had been cut by two-thirds, to 88.