Out-of-season viruses are prevalent throughout the country and in Sioux Falls, according to local doctors.
Sioux Falls doctors Abella and Sanford Health said cases and hospitalizations for children under the age of two are beginning to increase and warn parents to be aware of illnesses that are often considered common colds. I am.
Here’s what you need to know about the respiratory syncytial virus (commonly known as RSV) that attacks children this summer:
What is RSV?
RSV is a seasonal virus, according to Joe Segeleon, Vice President and Head of Health Care at Sanford Children’s Hospital.
Most children up to the age of 2 are exposed to the common virus. According to Segeleon, it is seasonal and usually lasts from mid to late autumn until early spring in the Sioux Falls region.
The virus has been around for a long time, and in most seasons, children’s hospitals will be filled with patients from around the end of the year, Segereon said.
RSV presents with symptoms that resemble a common cold. A runny nose, cough, and low-grade fever are all symptoms. Infants under 8 weeks may develop RSV in “abnormal” ways, including apnea, dehydration, fever, and reduced food intake, according to Segereon.
Kara Bruning, a pediatrician at Avera Health, said that most of the cases she sees are children under the age of two, and premature babies are prone to complications when infected with the virus.
Are there any cases of increase in Sioux Falls?
According to both Bruning and Segeleon, the “normal” RSV season begins in the fall and ends in the spring, but last year’s season was largely inactive.
The first cases began in Sanford in April and May, and have increased since then, according to Segereon.
The exact number of RSV cases across regions and states is unknown. According to Communications Director Daniel Bucheri, the South Dakota Department of Health is not tracking RSV cases.
In a question from Argus Leader, both Sanford and Avella doctors confirmed that more and more patients are coming to the hospital, especially in pediatrics with RSV.
Segeleon told Argus Leader that Sanford is experiencing a 30% positive rate on RSV testing at Sanford Children’s Hospital. They also reported an increase in hospitalizations due to the virus.
Avera personnel were unable to provide a positive rate to Argus Leader by the time it was announced Monday afternoon.
“Usually, RSV cases are rare during the summer, and the current number of cases is very rare in July,” Bruning said.
What is causing the spread?
The cause of the RSV epidemic has been debated, but it may be due to the effects of an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.for COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) According to both doctors, restrictions, children were not so gathered and RSV did not spread so easily.
“We rarely saw influenza-like RSV, whether it contributed, because of virus suppression, because COVID was the No. 1 virus, or simply because we weren’t gathered.” Said Segeleon.
Bruning also added that wearing masks delayed the spread of RSV, but places such as day care and camps have become hotspots for RSV as children can regroup.
“Children like to eat toys, tend to share things, and are not good at washing their hands, so especially young children spread it very well,” Bruning said. It was.
What should parents be aware of?
Most RSV symptoms manifest as cold symptoms. Bruning told Argus Leader that the best practice parents can do with their children is to call their doctor as soon as they notice something is wrong with their child.
It is difficult to distinguish RSV from other viruses because the symptoms of RSV are similar to other viruses, including COVID-19. Brunings recommends that parents bring their children, whether or not they are suspected of having a virus. And if they have a fever, put them home.
“If your child is sick and has a fever, take them home from day care,” Bruning said.
Is RSV unique to children and can I be infected with the virus multiple times?
The virus is not unique to infants, but they are most sensitive to it, both doctors said.
“You can get RSV multiple times, but the older you get, the bigger your airways,” Bruning said. “When you get older, we don’t worry about it or test it as much as we do for small people.”
Segereon told Argus Leader that RSV could cause more serious complications in older people. Adults with asthma should also consult a doctor if they notice difficulty breathing.
If you are part of a predisposed population, RSV can cause more serious complications for you, Segeleon. Said.
How to prevent virus infection:
According to Segeleon, the best way to prevent a virus infection is to wash your hands. He said that, like any other virus, the steps to avoid it are the same. If you feel unwell, stay at home, stay away from other people, especially toddlers, and wash your hands frequently.
“If something goes wrong, parents usually know that they should take their children,” Segereon said.
According to Segeleon, there is no cure available for RSV, only supportive care such as IV and oxygen therapy.
“There is no RSV vaccine. It’s a virus that I can’t fix. But we can support your child and help them get over it as much as possible,” Bruning said. ..
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