The number of reports of the RS virus is decreasing.

But the epidemic of the most common common cold virus in children is not over yet.

It is even expected that this will overflow into the usual winter outbreak, says RIVM virologist Adam Meijer in conversation with

The RS virus usually occurs mainly between November and March.

It is therefore unusual that our country has been dealing with a summer epidemic since mid-June.

The explanation is clear: because of the corona measures, the virus was not able to spread last winter.

Now that daycare centers and primary schools are opening their doors again, this also gives the virus room to spread again.

This pattern was not only seen in the Netherlands: an RS epidemic was also seen in Australia and the US state of Florida.

"In Australia, we saw that the peak that occurred during the period when the virus was normally not present, actually matched seamlessly with the period when the virus normally circulated," said Meijer.

A similar picture is being seen in Florida right now.

"If we combine those two data with what we now see here in the Netherlands, it may very well be the case here as well. That is the scenario that we are taking seriously," says Meijer.

The virologist emphasizes that the institute is also careful in this regard.

The countries have a comparable form of public health, which makes it possible to draw a comparison, but according to Meijer that "does not necessarily mean that this also happens here".

New wave may be less extensive

Although the number of reports in the Netherlands has fallen, there are still many more than 21. Last week the virus was reported about 72 times.

That number is likely to rise because the data is not complete.

"If it keeps simmering like this, it will run into the possible new epidemic."

The question is whether we will have to deal with the same peak as usual this autumn, now that many children also got the virus in the summer.

"It may just be that the new wave in the autumn is a less extensive epidemic", Meijer expects on the basis of calculated models.

Compliance with corona measures also plays a role

The extent to which the RS virus can spread this autumn also depends on compliance with the general corona measures.

If people continue to wash hands, cough into the inside of the arm and keep their distance, the RS virus will also be able to spread to a lesser extent.

Should parents be concerned about their child?

Meijer repeats the appeal that the institute made this summer: "The RS virus is here, and it is necessary to handle it carefully in terms of hygiene. And when small children develop respiratory complaints such as wheezing or shortness of breath, it is advisable in any case. to see a doctor."

See also: Simply explained: The RS virus is popping up a lot now, what exactly is that?