RSV spikes in Utah kids, could signal bad cold season
SALT LAKE CITY — RSV is already starting to make the rounds in Utah kids this season, with cases and hospitalizations on the rise, according to Primary Children’s Hospital. One doctor said RSV “wants to wreak some havoc on our community.”
The Intermountain Healthcare GermWatch shows RSV as the biggest sickness threat in the community right now, at “moderate” activity. An area-by-area map in Utah shows some communities at “high” activity.
RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, infects the lungs and breathing passages. While it can present as a common cold in adults, Gesteland explained that it can be dangerous for babies, immunocompromised people and the elderly.
Symptoms include congestion, sneezing, cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. Gesteland said for babies, RSV can come on sneakily, and at first, a baby may be fussy, irritable, and feeding poorly. RSV can get down into the lower respiratory tract, he said, making it harder for the baby to breathe. They may breathe fast with nasal flaring.
In some cases, the oxygen can dip so low that the lips and tongue will turn blue. Blue lips with fast breathing should prompt parents to take their baby or child in to be checked out.
Gesteland described how the pandemic has changed the normal epidemiology of viruses, causing an aberration in sicknesses like RSV.
“Wearing masks, staying apart basically just made all those viruses disappear for a couple of years,” he said. “As a result, however, we built up a pretty large population of children that were going to be susceptible to these viral infections, and now, we’re seeing them come back.”
RSV came on early last year as well, and Gesteland said this year, we’re getting into a trend that looks like it’ll continue to march up at this point.
Gesteland recommended that if you have a baby or newborn, limit who visits and make sure that person washes their hands, wears a mask, and isn’t exhibiting symptoms of illness. Make sure school-aged kids are washing their hands frequently or using alcohol hand sanitizer to prevent bringing home sicknesses from school.
There is no vaccine or medicine available to prevent or treat RSV.
He said in the next week or so, they will be rolling out monoclonal antibody therapy for RSV to give to high-risk babies.
If your child or baby starts showing symptoms, Gesteland said it’s important to keep the child’s nasal passages clear, make sure they’re eating, and avoid dehydration with plenty of liquids like Pedialyte.
- School bus hits and kills 15-year-old girl (pageviews: 9542)
- UPDATE: Three in custody after shots fired at Taylorsville High School, police said - KSLTV.com (pageviews: 9110)
- Earth's inner core may have stopped turning and could go into reverse, study suggests (pageviews: 7586)
- Snow advisories could bring up to 14 inches of snow Friday night (pageviews: 6434)
- Man chases teens after shots fired at Taylorsville High (pageviews: 3898)
- UPDATE: Three in custody after shots fired at Taylorsville High School, police said - KSLTV.com (pageviews: 3647)