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RSV spree

Cases of respiratory illness soar as COVID-19 restrictions lift.

respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

When your little one comes home from daycare or school with a fever and no appetite, you may be wondering what you're dealing with: a cold? The flu? Even COVID-19? Keep your eyes peeled for a few other telltale symptoms that may signal RSV.

While RSV season can vary by region, it tends to be most prevalent from October through April.

Breaking it down

What exactly is RSV? Mobeen Rathore, MD, chief of pediatric infectious disease and immunology for Wolfson Children's Hospital, described it as a respiratory virus that causes cold-like symptoms, which may vary by age:

RSV symptoms

Who's at risk?

RSV is more common in children than adults.

“Most kids will become infected with RSV before they are 2 years old,” Dr. Rathore explained. “However, adults and older children can get infected and will have what looks like a cold. People can also get re-infected, for instance if their child brings it home from daycare.”

Cases are typically mild, but older adults and infants can experience severe symptoms.

While the country has been opening back up and social restrictions have been lifted, it’s important to remember basic hygiene practices.

“Wash your hands well and, if you’re sick, wear a mask and practice social distancing,” Dr. Rathore said.

If your child has RSV and is experiencing any severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should take him or her to the nearest Wolfson Children’s Emergency Department or call 911.

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