The influenza virus has been raising concerns across the country this season, but there is another virus spiking this season among children. RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus is going around in mid-Missouri, and it has already sent at least one child to intensive care. Doctors say almost every child contracts the virus by their third birthday. The problem for parents is that the virus can be difficult to identify, as symptoms tend to look like a common cold. The most common symptoms are coughing and runny noses, but RSV can turn deadly for young children. The US Centers for Disease Control reports the virus has been peaking over the last month, and more than a quarter of the kids tested for the virus came back positive. Dr. Jason Zerrer, at Providence Urgent Care in Columbia, says the virus often spreads at daycare centers and clinics. Locally, only a handful of preschools have reported confirmed cases — Columbia seems to have been hit a little harder than Jefferson City. But whether those cases are confirmed or not, almost all centers say they have kids sick with running noses, paired with coughing. “Generally it presents with a lot of running nose, clean, profuse, running nose, cough, wheezing, sometimes a little bit of fever,” Zerrer says. While symptoms are similar, it is important to look for differences between the common cold and RSV. Left untreated, the virus can worsen into bronchiolitis, or even pneumonia, so Zerrer recommends looking for three key signs: * Sucking in the muscles under the ribs * Using the neck muscles to breath * Flaring out the nose”Those are three big things.” Zerrer says. “When a child’s doing that, they’re really working hard to breathe, and they need to be seen.” Dr. Zerrer says only about five percent of children end up needing to be hospitalized for the virus, but when they do, he says it can be pretty bad. Even after kids have recovered, they can still spread the virus for up to three weeks. Doctors say the virus usually lasts about five to seven days, but it can sometimes linger for up to two weeks.
BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION
ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.
Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here
If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.