RSV outbreak in Pago, leads to closure of Day Care Centers

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All childcare centres in American Samoa will be closed from Wednesday local time due to a handful of children contracting the RSV virus.

On Monday there were 20 admissions of RSV cases to LBJ Hospital, and nine of those had to be put on continuous positive airway pressure (C-PAP) to help with their breathing. Most were babies less than one-year-old.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes cold-like symptoms but it can be serious for infants and older adults.

Acting CEO of LBJ Hospital, Dr Akapusi Ledua, said they are opening the new pediatric ward today.

“We need to isolate children with RSV as it’s highly contagious, so we are opening the new Pediatric ward today,” said Dr Ledua.

He said LBJ management met with the Department of Health and agreed to recommend that daycare centers be closed in order to contain the spread of RSV in the community.

Dr Ledua advised parents to make sure children showing signs of RSV have enough fluids and to be kept home and isolated.

He said that if the symptoms persist parents should bring their children to the hospital.

This will be the second closure of daycare centres this year with the first closure lasting about a month due to measles.

Early childhood education and elementary schools have closed in American Samoa for the summer break.

SOURCE: RNZ