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Dignity Health Central Coast addresses local & national concern of RSV in older adults

RSV activity is increasing in California and across the nation
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Posted at 11:04 AM, Dec 01, 2022

Dignity Health Central Coast is addressing the local and national concern of RSV in older adults.

The respiratory syncytial virus, better known as RSV, is one of the leading respiratory viruses that continue to ramp up across the U.S.

As news spreads of its dangers for pediatric patients, Dignity Health medical experts advise families not to lose sight of another vulnerable population that has historically been even more impacted by this virus.

"Experts estimate that each year RSV leads to approximately 100–300 deaths in children under the age of five in the United States, but that number is much higher in older adults – between 6,000-10,0000 deaths per year,” Dr. John Campbell, of Marian Regional Medical Center, said in a press release. "RSV is of significant concern for older adults with underlying heart and lung disease or weakened immune systems."

RSV is most common from fall to spring, which lines up with the flu and cold season.

Symptoms include runny nose, decreased appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever, and wheezing.

Dignity Health medical experts say preventing RSV is similar to the measures taken during the pandemic and include wearing a mask indoors or in crowded spaces, frequent hand washing, staying away from others who are sick, and staying home when you are experiencing illness.