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What is RSV? Understand the symptoms and when to see a doctor.

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Symcial respiratory virus (RSV) is a common virus that usually causes mild cold-like symptoms, but it can be severe in infants, young children and vulnerable adults.

Here’s what you need to know about the most common symptoms of RSV and why there’s such an increase in cases of viral respiratory infections this season.

What are the symptoms of RSV?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with RSV begin to show symptoms within four to six days of their first infection. Common symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Decreased appetite
  • To cough
  • To sneeze
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

Severe symptoms in children and immunocompromised people include:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Difficulty breathing
  • rapid breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Severe cough
  • Fever

Severe cases can lead to respiratory distress, progressing to bronchiolitis or pneumonia.


So what is causing the rise in these respiratory viruses?

It could be related to a lack of normal exposure to viruses since 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19_ reached New York and New Jersey, Dr. Gary Kohn, pediatric pulmonology specialist at Summit Health in Florham Park, New Jersey, says

“We assume that through the whole COVID quarantine, we may have inadvertently suppressed children’s exposure to viruses, so their immune response hasn’t been as robust,” Kohn said.

The surge could also be helped by the easing of masking and other COVID-19 measures, Dr. Brian McMahon, chairman of pediatrics at Richmond University Medical Center in West Brighton, told Advance/ in september.

“That could very well be a contributing factor,” McMahon said.I think for two years I haven’t been diagnosed with the flu or strep throat. I am happy to see the masks removed and a return to a new normal, but of course these are respiratory illnesses and you are going to have more germ sharing. »


Parents should see a doctor if they notice that their child is having trouble breathing, said Dr. Pamela Feuer, director of pediatric critical care medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, noting that rapid breathing or very difficult breathing should be cause for concern. Other areas of concern are children who don’t eat or drink, have very high fevers or don’t act like themselves, she said.


The CDC, along with the New York State and New York City Health Departments, offer the following prevention tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or cooking utensils, with sick people.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, and cell phones, especially if someone is sick.
  • Stay home when sick and keep sick children out of school.

For vulnerable babies and premature babies, an injection of an antibody medicine to prevent the virus during RSV season can also be used to prevent illness, According to the CDC.

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