HOUSTON (January 10, 2014) Hundreds of children have been hospitalized in Houston-area hospitals by a highly contagious respiratory virus that's proving more troublesome than the flu.
More than 600 Texas Children’s Hospital patients tested positive in December for respiratory syncytial virus or RSV, hospital officials said.
More than 140 pediatric patients have been admitted to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital since October.
RSV, which infects the lungs and breathing passages and generally strikes during the winter months, causes influenza-like symptoms and can be life-threatening to infants.
The number of flu patients seen at both hospitals was significantly lower.
Health experts say it's difficult to pinpoint why RSV affects more patients, but say it may be in part because of the lack of a vaccine to prevent the virus.