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Cooler air is circulating and so are upper respiratory illnesses

RSV 010920
Posted at 5:13 PM, Oct 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 22:38:24-04

As we transition into the fall months, cooler air is circulating and so are upper respiratory illnesses.

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo says they've seen an increase in hospital admissions for RSV during the month of October.

RSV is a common respiratory virus. Most people recover from it in about a week, but it can be especially serious for young children.

"Typically, we don't see a single admission until after Thanksgiving," said Dr. Mathieu Deshutter, Chairman of the Pediatric Department at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

That's raising concerns for doctors as we near the coldest months of the year.

"So the fact that we've had a few already this month is much higher than we would expect any other year," Dr. Deshutter said.

Parents and daycare providers are concerned about the recent uptick in RSV cases, too.

"Yeah, for sure. I know there's been some deaths with kids too so for sure, yeah," said parent Gregg Bobis.

"It's really hard to be sanitizing everything after a child has used it and I just feel like germs spread a lot faster in a daycare setting," said Alma Ferreyra.

But others say if they can make it through the pandemic, they can handle this.

"We'll just keep an eye on it. We'll do the best we can. I've been here 30 years so I feel like we made it through COVID and RSV has been around forever so we're just vigilant," said Neita Oates, Happy Time Preschool Director & Head Teacher.

Dr. Deshutter says RSV causes symptoms that are similar to other colds, but if your child is becoming sicker after the third day, it might be time to take them to a doctor.

"It's children under 18 months that can sometimes need to be hospitalized and what makes RSV worse than other colds is it causes way more nasal congestion," Dr. Deshutter explained.

After 3-4 days, that congestion moves down from the head to the lungs.

"It actually attacks the lungs and causes a lot of swelling of the lungs," Dr. Deshutter said.

That often makes it very difficult for babies to breathe.

"They end up having to use the respiratory muscles a lot more so you'll see indentations above the sternum, the clavicles, under the ribs," he said.

Dr. Deshutter adds there are other viruses going around in the community, like the flu, and if you have a child under 18 months at home and another who is in preschool or daycare, they can bring RSV, the flu or another virus home to your little one. so it is best to keep children at home if they are displaying symptoms of an illness.