Hundreds hospitalized due to Houston-area virus

HOUSTON (AP) — Hundreds of children have been hospitalized in Houston-area hospitals suffering from a highly contagious respiratory virus that’s proving more troublesome than the flu.

Officials with Texas Children’s Hospital tell the Houston Chronicle ( ) that more than 600 patients tested positive in December for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. More than 140 pediatric patients have been submitted to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital since October.

RSV infects the lungs and breathing passages and generally strikes during the winter months. The illness causes influenza-like symptoms and can be life-threatening to infants.

The number of flu patients seen at both hospitals was significantly lower. Health experts say it’s difficult to pinpoint why RSV affects more patients, but argue it may be due in part to the lack of a vaccine to prevent the virus.


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