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CDC warns of rising RSV cases in the south

The disease in question is RSV which usually spikes in the winter, but doctors are seeing an unusual rise in cases at this time of the year. In most people it looks like a common cold but it can be more severe in young children.

Posted: Jul 14, 2021 2:39 PM

Lafayette - As the pandemic continues, doctors are now warning about another respiratory disease spreading among infants and young children.

The disease in question is RSV which usually spikes in the winter, but doctors are seeing an unusual rise in cases at this time of the year. In most people it looks like a common cold but it can be more severe in young children.

"He couldn’t sleep, and you could just tell he was having a hard time breathing, it was hurting. He stopped eating, he stopped drinking," said Brittany Jacobs, a mother whose two toddlers both contracted the virus.

Jacobs says that’s when she knew something was really wrong.

"I got nervous mainly because we have a family member that we lost, a small baby that we lost that had RSV at two months," she said.

Statistics show RSV kills up to 500 children under the age of five each year. A scary fact for parents. Jacobs says she immediately took both of her children to the emergency room.

"I knew it was something besides a regular cold that they usually have," Jacobs said. "And I was more afraid of them stopping breathing during the night while I’m sleeping you know."

RSV symptoms include a runny nose, fever and coughing. For infants and young children, it can also lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia. Dr. Lauren Bailey is a pediatrician and a mother to infant, an infant who contracted the virus.

"Day three, day four typically, she kind of started a little wheezing and I kind of heard it and thought I was crazy and then the next day I heard it really significantly," Bailey said.

She soon figured out her child had RSV but for other parents out there, if you notice a change in your child’s health, Jacobs simply says... "Follow your mother’s instinct, follow your intuition you know it’s in you that you know something’s off."

Bailey says the main thing to watch out for is your child’s breathing. She says think about what your child would look like if they had ran a marathon: watch for wheezing, flared nostrils and if their rib cage is visible while breathing.

Most RSV infections go away after 1 to 2 weeks and most children will have had an RSV infection by the time they are two years old.

For more information on RSV you can visit the CDC's website.

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