'Significant' surge in cases of serious respiratory virus at children's hospitals
The three main children’s hospitals in Dublin are seeing a surge in young patients with a serious respiratory virus.
The outbreak of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), the most common cause of pneumonia in children under the age of one, is causing major patient delays.
Parents are being urged not to bring their child to Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin, Temple St or Tallaght Hospital if possible and seek advice from their GP instead.
A spokeswoman said the increase in cases has led to a dramatic rise in attendances and admissions to the three hospitals and it has been particularly bad this week.
She said: ”Of particular note is an increase in young children and infants presenting with respiratory infections, in particular a viral infection known as RSV.
“While this occurs every winter, the increase in presentations to our emergency departments has been more significant this season.
“Some babies and children with this virus can become very unwell requiring supportive treatment and prolonged hospital admissions. Based on previous infection control data it is anticipated that this virus will continue to be at peak levels for the next three to four weeks.”
The three A&Es are open but patients can expect to suffer delays.
“In order to safely manage all patients in the emergency departments , families of children with minor and less urgent complaints are advised to see their GP/out of hours service first, where possible and appropriate.”
Parents should avoid bringing very small babies to social occasions where they may pick up an infection.