LUBBOCK, Texas– RSV tends to peak in late fall and early spring, but local hospitals told KLBK News on Wednesday it is expected to see more cases than usual for this time of year.
“We usually see maybe one case a month or one case every two months. We’ve been seeing probably two or three cases a week,” said Dr. Thivakorn Kasemsri, Pediatric Intensivist (Critical Care) with University Medical Center.
RSV is a common respiratory virus that causes cold-like symptoms, doctors explained, and it sometimes causes severe illness in premature and young infants.
“The most common place that kids contract any virus, and RSV is one of those, is at daycare. The reason for that is: you can be contagious with RSV, either before that initial period of symptoms or even as those symptoms are waning and kids are cleared to go back to daycare…” said Dr. Michael Strong, Pediatric Physician with Covenant Health.
First-time mother Meredith Cunningham said her son is finally back in daycare this week after his infant peers were diagnosed with the virus.
“We got a message from his teachers, like, ‘hey, there’s a kid with RSV,’ and then on Monday, two more kids had gotten it over the weekend. It terrified me and my husband, and so I literally kept him home for two weeks because I was so afraid of him getting it,” Cunningham said.
However, doctors said 97 percent of children will recover within five to seven days.
“That’s another thing for parents to look out for — if after seven days, the child is still not better, or if we’re starting to have fevers later in that course, that will be a good time to go see your doctor,” said Dr. Strong.
While RSV is highly contagious, you can still take prevention measures like, “Hygiene- just like we learned during the pandemic. People are masking for Coronavirus. Masking for RSV [is] the same thing. Washing your hands often is the main thing,” said Dr. Thivakorn, suggesting parents wash hands in between touching their kids to avoid spreading it in the family.
Because there aren’t curative treatments, doctors recommended families provide supportive care to infants with RSV, like clearing nasal passages to help with eating, shorter and more frequent feeding to prevent dehydration, and Tylenol to reduce fevers.