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RSV Surging in Regional Healthcare Facilities
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October 31, 2022

NEWSDESKS: The following message is being sent on behalf of the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council and their healthcare partners. Please Reach out directly to the individuals listed at the bottom of this email for additional information. 

RSV Surging in Regional Healthcare Facilities

What is RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)?

RSV is a viral infection of the respiratory tract caused by the Respiratory Syncytial Virus. This commonly affects children below the age of 2 years. More than 3 million cases per year are reported in the US. RSV is transmitted through airborne exposure, so cleaning of surfaces, good hand washing and covering your cough or sneeze is essential to prevent the spread.

RSV can last for several days or weeks. The symptoms depend on the severity, age, and health of the child. Fever may not always occur with RSV infections.

Seek care early from your pediatrician, primary care doctor, or clinic.

RSV in Very Young Infants (<6 months)
Infants who get an RSV infection almost always show symptoms but may be atypical. These symptoms include:
• Irritability – unable to console
• Decreased activity
• Decreased appetite – difficulty feeding
• Apnea - pauses while breathing

Early Symptoms of RSV in Infants/Children (6 months to 2 years)
RSV may not be severe when it first starts. However, it can become more severe a few days into the illness. Seek care from your pediatrician, primary care doctor, or clinic early when symptoms begin. Symptoms may include:
• Runny nose
• Decrease in appetite
• Cough, which may progress to wheezing

Early Symptoms of RSV in older children (>2 years) and adults
Mild flu-like symptoms in older children and adults can easily be treated by your primary care physician or clinic. The symptoms include:
• Stuffy and runny nose
• Mild headache
• Mild cough
• Mild fever
• Sore throat

Urgent medical attention is recommended in severe cases.

If your child is experiencing severe, or persistent symptoms, seek emergency care.
These symptoms include:
• Discoloration of skin
• Difficulty breathing - looks like chest and belly sinking in
• Rapid breathing
• Wheezing
• Severe cough
• Fever
• Decrease in urine output/wet diapers

What can I do to help keep my baby safe?
When people infected with RSV touch surfaces and objects, they can leave behind germs. Also, when they cough or sneeze, droplets containing germs can land on surfaces and objects and be spread to others.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Washing your hands will help protect you from spreading germs.
• Keep your hands off your face, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Germs spread this way.
• Avoid close contact with sick people, such as kissing, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who have cold-like symptoms.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash afterward and wash your hands.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people frequently touch, such as toys, doorknobs, and mobile devices.
• Stay home when you are sick, this includes work, school, and public places. This will help protect others from catching your illness.

If your baby was born with a heart or lung problem or born early (<32 weeks) talk to your child’s doctor to see if they may be eligible to receive a preventive treatment.

For additional information, please reach out directly via the email addresses listed.  


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