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The Explainer: What is RSV and why are so many children sick with it?

Parent Paul Murphy, whose son is being treated in hospital for RSV, and Dr Niamh Lynch explain more in this week’s podcast episode.

YOU MAY HAVE seen coverage of the illness RSV and how it is affecting children lately – but you might not know what it is or what its impact can be.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is not just all over the news – unfortunately it’s also all over our hospitals. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre says that infection figures are substantially higher than other years: in the week up to 20 November, there were 731 cases of RSVC, including 290 RSV hospitalisations. About three-quarters of those cases were in children aged under four.

One of the young children who fell ill with RSV is Liam Murphy, whose father Paul joins us on The Explainer this week. He talks us through what happened to his son, which included having to go to a hospital in Sweden for treatment, and how he thinks public messaging on RSV can be improved. 

Then Dr Niamh Lynch, a consultant paediatrician in Cork, talks presenter Sinéad O’Carroll through what RSV is, what its symptoms are, and how parents can know when to go to the GP or the hospital.

Listen to the Explainer:

The Explainer / SoundCloud

 This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, and producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan.

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