Dallas

Mother Shares Warning as Seasonal Illness Spikes in North Texas

As people prepare to gather loved ones over the Thanksgiving holiday, a Haslet mother is reminding them to be especially careful around babies as seasonal illnesses spike. 

It was just two years ago that Cassandra Hunt's son Roman contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) at just 2 months old.

"It was Thanksgiving and we had everybody over here, and he was coughing, not feeling very well. A lot of people were seeing him for the first time so he was getting passed around to all of the family. Everyone was loving on him and kissing on him," Hunt said.

Within 48 hours, Hunt found Roman in his crib gasping for air. He was rushed to the ER, where he was diagnosed with the common respiratory infection that can lead to life-threatening problems for some babies

"They did breathing treatments. They put oxygen on him. They put oxygen on me to shoot at him. We were there for hours and they said it's not getting any better. It's getting worse," Hunt said.

In the end, it took a week-long stay at Cook Children's for Roman to no longer need assistance breathing and to be able to clear his lungs on his own.

In the two years since, he's been admitted to the ER for breathing difficulties about a half dozen times and still does breathing treatments at home when those old RSV symptoms seem to arise again.

"You know these are his loved ones and someone with a cold or someone with some little RSV virus that wasn't affecting them at all, someone gave this to Roman," Hunt said.

And this time of year, it's not uncommon. 

According to the CDC, cases of RSV have spiked in Texas over the last couple of weeks. 

At Children's Medical Center, in both Dallas and Plano, doctors have seen a significant increase in the number of RSV cases with 152 diagnosed this week over 128 the week before.

The number of flu cases more than doubled to 148 from 65 the previous week.

Cook Children's in Fort Worth has seen its own share of seasonal illness, reporting an extreme number of patients last week with more than 567 admitted to the emergency room on Monday. At nearly double the normal number of patients seen, officials said it's the equivalent of a patient checking in every 2 1/2 minutes for 24 hours straight.

And with all of those germs floating around, doctors are urging prevention.

ER Near Me's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gorav Bohil said it's never too late to get a flu shot, though it's not the only line of defense he preaches.

"Hand hygiene and just really being smart. You can't avoid crowds, you can't avoid your family, but you can avoid getting sick by just taking care of yourself and your family," he said.

And when it comes to RSV, Hunt reminds is also thinking about the babies.

“I think it’s really important for adults to get more educated on RSV, because we just want to kiss and love on babies and it can be deadly," said Hunt.

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