The RSV virus, a respiratory infection that mainly affects babies, has been on the rise in recent weeks and is above the epidemic threshold. This was evident from the weekly bulletin on respiratory infections from the Sciensano health institute on Wednesday.
In recent weeks, the number of positive laboratory tests for RSV exceeded the epidemic threshold of 214 consultations per 100,000 inhabitants for the first time this fall. The number of hospital admissions for acute respiratory infection due to RSV is also increasing, according to Sciensano. The RSV peak therefore appears to occur earlier than last year, when the virus only became rampant in December.
RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) is a virus that primarily affects the upper respiratory tract, the nose and throat. In adults it usually causes the common cold, but in babies and debilitated elderly people it can also cause serious symptoms such as breathlessness and dehydration. RSV is also very contagious.
Worldwide, 33 million children under the age of five contract the disease every year. This leads to 3.6 million hospitalizations and 100,000 fatalities every year. Of those fatalities, 95 percent are younger than six months. The vast majority of children who die come from low- and middle-income countries.
The flu epidemic is not yet in the country, although the number of GP consultations for flu-like complaints increased last week and the first confirmed influenza infections of the season were diagnosed. The number of people with COVID complaints remained stable.