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RSV cases are on the rise in Central Florida kids. Here's what to know

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Respiratory syncytial virus, more commonly known as RSV is on the rise here in Central Florida. The increase in cases is worrying some doctors as the surge is starting well ahead of the typical winter month increase. 

The common respiratory virus causes mild flu-like symptoms in most people, but can lead to more severe illness and even hospitalization in children under 1 year old. 

Dr. Sally Elias is a pediatrician at Nemours Children’s Hospital. 

Elias says she’s urging her families with infants to put protections in place during the busy holiday season that begins in just a few weeks. 

“Maybe during the holidays, trying to keep your new babies away from larger gatherings. So we always try to recommend, if your child is under two months old, maybe keeping them protected and away from the larger gatherings during the holidays.”

Elias recommends families of infants and newborns also practice good handwashing, deep-clean surfaces, and she says when it comes to big brother and big sister: 

“You know, encouraging your younger children who are in school to wash their hands and, if applicable to, you know to wear masks if they're three or four years old in school, maybe to decrease the chances of them bringing stuff home to their younger siblings, to their newborn siblings.”

Parents should seek immediate medical attention if their baby has flu-like symptoms along with any of the following: trouble breathing, a loss in appetite or activity, or increased irritability. 

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
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