Severe overcrowding

RSV outbreak at Duhok children’s hospital

DUHOK — The Hevi Pediatric Teaching Hospital in Duhok is grappling with severe overcrowding, currently caring for more than 350 children, far exceeding its capacity of 200 beds. The vast majority of these patients, over 90%, are under two years old and are battling a perilous virus outbreak that predominantly affects infants.

Dr. Nizar Bakr, the hospital’s director, told 964media, “Each winter season ushers in a variety of viruses that target children, but this year we’ve observed a notable surge in cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which affects the respiratory systems of young children and is a common global health concern.”

“The outbreak in Duhok has seen a significant uptick this year, resulting in a substantial increase in hospital admissions,” he continued.

The virus poses a significant threat to children under six months, potentially causing severe lung damage and, in some instances, fatalities.

Dr. Bakr emphasized that this virus is responsible for the deaths of approximately 25,000 children worldwide annually.

RSV is a highly contagious virus that leads to respiratory tract infections in individuals of all ages. It is particularly prevalent in young children and infants, where it can cause bronchiolitis and pneumonia. RSV is recognized for its seasonal outbreaks, typically occurring in the colder months of the year. The virus spreads through droplets containing the virus when someone coughs or sneezes, as well as through direct contact with contaminated surfaces. While most RSV infections result in mild, cold-like symptoms, it can be severe in infants and elderly individuals.