LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A local father shared his story with 8 News Now following the hospitalization of his 10-month-old son who was recently diagnosed with Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection also known as RSV.

“It all happened so fast you can’t really understand what was happening,” John Treanor said. 

His son Elliot is in the pediatric intensive care unit at University Medical Center Southern Nevada.

Baby Elliot recovering from RSV (Photo Credit: John Treanor)

Children with RSV account for about one out of every five pediatric hospital admissions in Nevada, according to information released Thursday by the Nevada Hospital Association (NHA).

“This poor kid who 48 hours before was playing around with his brothers and crawling around and all of a sudden you are talking about how to get him to breathe,” Treanor said.

Baby Elliot recovering from RSV (Photo Credit: John Treanor)

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people recover in a week or two.

But RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults, according to the CDC. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States.

Treanor described how quickly the symptoms seemed to take over as he monitored his son.

“By Saturday he was struggling to even sit up on the couch struggling to open his eyes in the morning,” Treanor said.

Treanor told 8 News Now they ended up taking baby Elliot to urgent care and from there, x-rays showed he had pneumonia. 

Later they learned Elliot contracted RSV, and he needed to be rushed to the ER in an ambulance.
With cases of respiratory illnesses on the rise, it was a five-hour wait to even get a room.

“UMC Children’s Hospital continues to care for a high number of pediatric patients with RSV and other respiratory viruses. This is common for the fall season, and our team always prepares for this expected increase in patient volume. The dedicated team members at UMC Children’s Hospital continue to deliver the state’s highest level of care while working around the clock to efficiently manage the flow of young patients coming through our doors,” said Scott Krebs, UMC spokesman.

Treanor and his wife said they take turns being by Elliot’s side around the clock.

At first, Treanor said, their son’s condition required intubation, however, they opted to sedate him and give him as much oxygen as possible.

According to Southern Nevada Health District, there have been 150 reported cases of RSV in September, but those numbers can always increase as soon as additional data is reported. 

As for baby Elliot, there is good news, he is off the full oxygen mask and now in a nose mask. Treanor said he is making progress but isn’t out of the woods just yet. 

Preventing the spread of RSV

In an effort to prevent the spread of RSV, Dr. Christina Madison with the Public Health Pharmacist had several recommendations for parents during the busy holiday season.

  • Make sure all routine vaccinations are up to date, including COVID and Influenza vaccinations
  • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces
  • Staying home when sick
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and running water
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables