RSV Spreading in Young Children During Winter Months

By: Courtney Lassiter
By: Courtney Lassiter

If your children are away from your house most of the day you may need to take extra precaution in sanitizing anything in reach.

Several cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, more commonly known as RSV, have been positively identified by doctors in Bowling Green, Ky.

RSV is common among young children, although according to the Barren River District Health Department, adults can contract it too. Symptoms include: fever, runny nose, cough and sometimes wheezing.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that those with RSV infection between 25 and 40 percent of infants and young children also have signs or symptoms of other respiratory infections, and just two percent or below require hospitalization.

Kristen Cantu's 12-month old son is no stranger to respiratory viruses, he's had pneumonia five times, and now he's out from daycare with RSV.

"But another kid at this daycare was diagnosed with RSV before he was," Cantu said.

According to nurses at the Barren River District Health Department RSV is going around.

"It is very common to see RSV in the fall and winter and spring, outbreaks are common," said Tina Loy, a communicable disease nurse.

Loy also said an outbreak in the community can last four or five months, although symptoms persist for just a few days.
Loy added that RSV is in your system and contagious for several days before the warning signs start to show.

"High fever, difficulty breathing using abdominal muscles to breath," are some of the warning signs said Loy.

"He's got a lot of congestion, runny nose and cold symptoms too congestion as well," said Cantu about her son's warning signs.

Unlike stay-at-home children Cantu and many other working mothers leave their children in day care exposing them to many sicknesses and contagious children.

"I think they're exposed to more if they are in day care, but my day care uses a lot of things out there to prevent transmission," Cantu said.

Day cares and schools are using anti-bacterial hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of germs, although regular hand washing for a least 20-seconds is better. Loy also suggests sanitizing anything your children touch once a day to kill viruses like RSV.

"RSV does live on surfaces for many hours, like doors, toys, faucets," Loy said.

Also according to Loy, the virus can also live on your hands for up to 30 minutes.


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