As flu season approaches, the number of children falling ill with RSV is increasing at a rapid rate.
It isn’t in just one area where babies and toddlers are getting sick from respiratory illnesses. Counties all over the state are warning parents to keep their child safe from the virus this year. If your child does come down with RSV, there are ways to try to manage the symptoms.
According to CNY Central, Tompkins County is just one of many that have seen a sharp increase in the number of RSV cases among children recently.
Frank Kruppa, Public Health Director, spoke about the illness and what to do to protect yourself and others.
“We want to do our part to limit the spread of respiratory illnesses like RSV and the flu so that we can protect our vulnerable community members,” Kruppa said. He stated that practicing good hygiene, staying home when sick, wearing a mask, and getting vaccinated are all steps people can take to keep themselves safe from contracting a virus.
In Monroe County, Rochester First reports that there has been a surge in hospitalizations of infants and toddlers catching RSV.
In October and November, the county had almost 200 hospitalizations of children under the age of 5 with RSV and other respiratory illnesses. Dr. Elizabeth Murray, specialist in pediatric emergency medicine with URMC, said that RSV is currently dominant and has remained consistent at the hospital level. The emergency rooms are also seeing a large number of cases of RSV. Murray said that 30-35% of their inpatient population in the children’s hospital right now are RSV cases.
In Syracuse, the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital is filled with RSV cases, both in the hospital and the emergency room. According to CNY Central, nearly half of the patients in the hospital are sick with RSV or a related condition.
There are ways to manage symptoms if you find your child sick with the illness. In mild cases, give the child acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but never aspirin. This can help reduce pain and fevers. To provide the correct dosage, contact your child’s doctor. Be sure your child is drinking enough fluid to stay hydrated. Symptoms of mild cases of RSV in children are runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever, wheezing, and decrease in appetite. They will usually present themselves in stages and not all at once.
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