Respiratory Syncytial Virus on the rise in Central Texas


Respiratory Syncytial Virus, better known as RSV, affects more than 2.1 million children nationwide each year.

The virus has already sent some Central Texas children to the hospital.

Crystal Radke and her 7-month-old son Bennett are all smiles now. But last week, she didn’t know if she’d be holding her baby much longer. 

“We woke up Thanksgiving morning and he had a slight cough and I can just tell that he didn’t feel good,” Radke said.

She says that same night, Radke took her son to get checked out. Doctors gave her baby an oral steroid but they returned days later.

“He was doing good Saturday morning and then Saturday evening he just did a 360 and his breathing was very labored and we were really scared,” Radke said.

Doctors found Radke’s baby boy had RSV. Premier ER says the number of cases has already doubled this season compared to 2017.

“We tend to see the spike in cases begin in November and carry through the winter months,” Dr. Jason Bryant, Medical Director said. “We’ve actually already started seeing some of those cases here in Waco.”

Doctor’s say nearly a dozen children have been diagnosed just in their clinic.They say the virus spreads when others that are sick come in contact with babies, especially if they’re under 6 months. The virus can last for up to ten days.

“Babies that are having trouble with RSV, they will have trouble breathing,” Dr. Bryant said. “You will watch them breathe in a labored fashion and you can tell they aren’t breathing normally.”  

The radkes went home from the hospital Tuesday. Now, they’re thankful things are getting back to normal.

“Be proactive if your child starts showing symptoms,” Radke said. “Don’t downplay it because it can get bad really fast.”

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