JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) — The Center for Disease Control has noted an increase in the respiratory syncytial virus, commonly known as RSV, in the south.
RSV can occur in adults but mainly affects young children and infants.
dr. Jane Sneed, a pediatrician for the children’s clinic in Jonesboro, says she has recently seen an average of 5 to 10 RSV patients per week, noting that it is a greater concern in children than COVID-19.
“Children have taken up COVID relatively well,” said Dr. cut. “But we know that RSV is a disease that can make our babies very sick.”
The pediatrician mentioned cases of RSV can lead to hospitalization if it goes undetected, especially in newborn babies.
Some cases can be fatal for people with underlying conditions such as “lung disease, heart disease, neuromuscular disorders, and immunodeficiencies.”
dr. Sneed attributes some cases to parents who have become lax after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, saying parents don’t keep children at home when they are sick.
“I think people are less hesitant to send their kids to daycare if they have a runny nose and cough,” she said.
In addition to a runny nose and cough, symptoms of RSV include fever, sneezing, loss of appetite and wheezing, according to the CDC.
The doctor says it’s best to keep kids at home and away from other kids, even if they have a runny nose, which can spread it to other kids in places like daycare or school.
If your child is experiencing RSV, Dr. Cut to keep them hydrated, monitor their breathing, and have them sleep in the same room as you at night so you can check them every three to four hours.
She says RSV patients do not need to take cough suppressants or antibiotics because they are not effective.
The pediatrician also urges parents to minimize health practices such as hand washing and contact.
“We must be conscientious not to spread disease to someone that could potentially be fatal to them or land them in the hospital,” said Dr. cut.
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