RSV infections surge as hospitals brace for return of ‘normal’ respiratory virus season – CBC

Respiratory syncytial virus activity is higher than expected, with COVID-19 and flu also circulating

Nov 22, 2023

On a weekday afternoon, coughs and cries echo throughout the brightly lit waiting room of the Just for Kids Clinic at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto.

It’s clear this year’s respiratory virus season is already underway, said Dr. Anne Wormsbecker, chief of pediatrics at the hospital, one of three health-care sites making up Unity Health Toronto. While most children who arrive for outpatient appointments aren’t given tests to figure out which virus is making them sick, she said inpatient units where patients are tested upon admission are seeing a striking trend.

“In the last couple of weeks, the respiratory syncytial virus — or RSV — has just shot up,” she said.

Country-wide data also shows RSV is on the rise. So far, 1,220 cases have been detected since late August, with roughly five per cent of tests coming back positive, according to the most recent respiratory virus report from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

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