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Amy Schumer reveals son is "better" after being hospitalized with RSV

Dr. David Agus on COVID-19 BQ variants, RSV
Dr. David Agus discusses COVID-19 wave of BQ variants, spike in RSV infections and more 06:50

Comedian Amy Schumer revealed Sunday that her young son was hospitalized this past week with respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV. She described the experience as the "hardest week of my life."

Schumer, who hosted "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, wrote in an Instagram post that she was forced to miss SNL rehearsals on Thursday because her 3-year-old son was taken to the emergency room after contracting RSV.  

Schumer said she "got to be with him the whole day at the hospital," adding that now he "is home and better."

For most healthy people, RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a cold-like nuisance. But for the very young, the elderly and people with certain health problems, it can be serious, even life-threatening. The virus can infect deep in the lungs, causing pneumonia, and in babies it can impede breathing by inflaming tiny airways.

In the U.S., about 58,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized for RSV each year and several hundred die. Among adults 65 and older, about 177,000 are hospitalized with RSV and 14,000 die annually. Worldwide, RSV kills about 100,000 children a year, mostly in poor countries.

The virus is transmitted through the air, often through coughs and sneezes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There has been a spike in cases this fall, which health experts attribute to the fact that children who had been social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and were shielded from it, are now being exposed in large numbers.

"Pediatric ICUs around the country, many parts of it, are full," CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus said last week.

Most hospitalizations now are related to influenza and RSV, not COVID-19, Agus added. 

There is no vaccine for RSV. Pfizer announced last week that an international study it conducted on a potential RSV vaccine administered to pregnant women found that it could be effective at preventing severe cases of RSV in their babies.

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