This New Virus is Spreading Fast in These States

Since March 2020, COVID-19 has been the dominant virus spreading across the country. However, this summer there is a new respiratory virus spreading across the country, leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue an advisory warning. "Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms," says the CDC. "Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious…." Read on to find out if you can get this, and what the symptoms are—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.


RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) Is On the Rise

Per the CDC, cases of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) are rising across the Southern US. The virus typically circulates in the fall and winter months, impacting mostly children. In an average year there are 2.1 million outpatient visits among children younger than 5 years old, 58,000 hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years old, 177,000 hospitalizations among adults 65 years and older and 14,000 deaths among adults 65 years and older. However, in 2020 cases were significantly lower than usual due to COVID-19 and the related mitigation measures. However, as the country continues to reopen and cases of COVID continue to drop, rates of the respiratory virus are on the rise. Keep reading to see the symptoms and how to avoid it.


What Are the Symptoms of RSV?

Woman blowing her nose into tissue

Symptoms of RSV generally appear within four to six days of infection and include runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever, and wheezing. "These symptoms usually appear in stages and not all at once. In very young infants with RSV, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and breathing difficulties," the CDC notes. In infants younger than six months, symptoms more specifically include irritability, poor feeding, lethargy, and/or apnea with or without fever. "In older infants and young children, rhinorrhea and decreased appetite may appear one to three days before cough, often followed by sneezing, fever, and sometimes wheezing," they add. Symptoms in adults are typically consistent with upper respiratory tract infections, including rhinorrhea, pharyngitis, cough, headache, fatigue, and fever.


These People May Be Most at Risk

5 months old baby with respiratory syncytial virus, inhaling medication through inhalation mask while looking at with his tired eyes

In their advisory, the CDC also noted that older infants and toddlers may be at risk of more severe RSV-associated illness, due to reduced circulation of RSV during the winter months and the fact that "they have likely not had typical levels of exposure to RSV during the past 15 months." 


Get Tested for RSV

Doctor and senior woman wearing facemasks

If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your MD about getting an RSV test. "Due to this increased activity, CDC encourages broader testing for RSV among patients presenting with acute respiratory illness who test negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19," the CDC wrote in their guidance. And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss these First Signs You Have a Serious Illness.

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