Every year, about 2,000 newborns are admitted to hospitals in the Netherlands with the RS virus, especially during the winter months. Between 150 and 200 children end up in intensive care due to an infection. Parents who experienced this are happy to announce a new drug that will protect children from the virus much longer.
The RS virus is a cold virus that does not harm older children and adults, but can have catastrophic consequences for very young children. Worldwide, the virus is the second leading cause of death in infants after malaria. 99 percent of deaths involve children in developing countries. In the Netherlands, one to two children die each year from the effects of the virus.
“In fact, we can not treat children with the RS virus properly,”
Lungs full of fluid
Ventilation was also needed for the now almost 12-year-old Tess, daughter of Karin Elshout. Tess and her twin brother were born ten weeks early at Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital. Shortly after the girl was transferred to another hospital, she contracted the virus.
“She was almost three weeks old when my mother’s feeling said something was wrong. They tested her and then she was taken back to Utrecht very quickly,” says Elshout. “What you hear now about how people with corona are in intensive care, it seemed shocking. Tess was lying on her stomach on the respirator, her lungs were full of fluid. They kept her in a coma for two to three weeks. She has really been in critical condition. . “
Monique van Niel’s daughter became infected shortly after Christmas last year. Minte was then 5.5 weeks old. “On Friday she became snotty and on Sunday I went to Google because I suspected she was short of breath. On Monday I went to the doctor with her, who immediately sent us to the hospital,” Van Niel said. “When we got there, I still thought it would be okay, but in the end, Minte was not home until fourteen days later.”
“The bad thing about this virus is that you are as powerless as a parent,” says Van Niel. “In intensive care, we barely got to touch her. You’re there and watching it.”
Mara, daughter of Nikki Smeets, was also seriously ill with the virus: