Pediatric death from respiratory illness reported in Wisconsin

The first pediatric death from a respiratory illness has been confirmed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), as cases of Influenza, RSV, and COVID-19 reportedly continue to rise throughout the state.

"It is with great sadness that DHS reports the first death of a child from RSV in Wisconsin this season," said DHS Respiratory Diseases Epidemiologist Tom Haupt in a statement. "Respiratory illness cases are on the rise throughout the state, and it is important to take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones, especially before the holidays."

RSV is a cold-like nuisance for most people, and not as well-known as the flu. As a seasonal virus, doctors have said spikes are expected at this time of year as cold weather drives people indoors for gatherings.

In November, FOX 9 reported on a surge of RSV cases seen in Minnesota pediatric hospitals.

"We're getting lots of colds, snotty noses, coughs, fevers coming in," Dr. Elizabeth Placzek, a pediatrician with Children's Minnesota told FOX 9 at the time. "We're pretty busy."

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the first RSV vaccine for pregnant people to protect their newborn from severe illness.

There’s no RSV vaccine for children, but babies whose mothers didn’t get vaccinated in pregnancy may get an injection of lab-made antibodies called Beyfortus to guard against RSV.