HOUSTON (KIAH) – Ahead of Thanksgiving Day, here is the latest on the RSV surge still overwhelming regional hospitals.
The Texas Department of State Health Services gathers data for both PCR and antigen tests reported voluntarily by sentinel Texas laboratories. The latest data was released on November 22, 2022.
Examining the chart for PCR testing, the most used method throughout the state, the green bars show the total tests given out, which is an indication that a lot of kids are getting sick right now.
The red is where we find the number of positive PCR tests. Those cases have been on an uphill trend since the start of October – much earlier than a typical RSV season. Looking at the trend into November, it appears the number of positive cases has not let up – plateauing for the last few weeks.
The gray dashed line is the 3% positivity threshold that defines an RSV season. But even when our positivity rate falls below that line, it doesn’t mean RSV is gone for the year.
It is worth noting that the data from last week may be incomplete. As with past reports, the previous week has shown lower activity and with the next update, the numbers rise showing the powerful impact RSV is still having in the region.
Dr. David Winter, MD, at Baylor Scott & White Health, said there is still a lot of RSV out there with “7000 new cases every week are being reported.” That is why he urges anyone with even a mild cold to be cautious during gatherings tomorrow.
“My message to everyone is RSV in older folks, in adults, can be like a common cold. So if you have a common cold, you may have RSV that you’ll tolerate, but stay away from those babies because they don’t tolerate that very well at all,” said Dr. Winter.