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Doctors see an uptick in RSV | Health Beat with Brea Love

Doctors are seeing more cases of RSV outside of cold and flu season. Our ABC10 health expert says cases in children are more concerning.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Although cold and flu season hasn’t arrived yet, there’s something going around.

Doctors are seeing more and more cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus [RSV]. Cases typically rise in January, but mask mandates delayed the spread of RSV. When mandates went away for a while, the virus made its appearance. 

Anyone can get RSV, but it impacts adults and children differently.

ABC10 Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli said for adults, symptoms present in the head. Typically, adults will have a runny nose, headache and sore throat. 

Cases in children, however, can be more severe. Their symptoms present in the chest area. They could experience shortness of breath, lung issues, and pneumonia. It could even cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome [SIDS], lethargy or poor feeding in infants.

Kohli said it’s actually important for children to be exposed to RSV. When they are, it makes their symptoms less severe when they’re older, but she said this strain is concerning.

“One of the concerns has been with the fact for the last 15 months, we’ve had such low cases of RSV is that this time around, when kids are seeing RSV for the first time, its turning into more severe infection,” Kohli said.

RSV behaves like COVID-19. Its transmitted person to person. So, we can use COVID prevention tactics like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and not touching your face to prevent it.

READ MORE HEALTH BEAT STORIES FROM BREA: 

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