A jump in U.S. cases of RSV this fall has affected many infants and children, including comedian Amy Schumer's 3-year-old son, Gene.
Schumer wrote about her son being hospitalized with respiratory syncytial virus in an Instagram post, calling it the "hardest week of my life."
Schumer hosted "Saturday Night Live" this weekend but missed Thursday rehearsals to be with her son, who was admitted to the hospital after an emergency room visit.
In her post, Schumer said she "got to be with him the whole day at the hospital." Now Gene "is home and better."
Typically, RSV cases are mild like a cold. They can be serious and life-threatening for the very young, elderly and people with certain health issues.
Public health experts say the current rise in RSV cases is likely because children who were able to avoid the virus during social distancing measures early in the COVID-19 pandemic are now being infected with it.
RSV spreads through coughs and sneezes in the air, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
RSV kills about 100,000 children annually, most in poorer countries. In the United States, between 58,000 and 80,000 kids younger than 5 years are hospitalized each year with the common virus. It is estimated that between 60,000 and 120,000 older Americans are hospitalized and 6,000-10,000 of them die due to RSV infection, the CDC says.
Around the country, many pediatric intensive care units are full, and experts say that is mostly due to flu and RSV rather than COVID.
Drug company Pfizer is studying a potential RSV vaccine for pregnant women and recently reported it could be effective at preventing severe cases of RSV in newborns.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on RSV.
SOURCE: Amy Schumer on Instagram