Doctors say RSV is spreading earlier this year

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Many doctors are sounding the alarm on respiratory syncytial virus and its impacts on kids.

For Carteret County resident Cole Moore, RSV has impacted her family.

“Right now, being a parent, a lot of the things we would’ve relied on in the past and the things they’d typically go through feel… uncertain. Particularly, looking at this little guy who got RSV and got really, really sick… didn’t progress through it as well as his brother did; it was, you know it was just really scary,” Moore recalled.

For the vast majority of older children and adults, RSV may only be a common cold, but for younger children and infants, this virus can many times result in hospitalization and the need for critical care.

Watching her two young sons experience RSV has impacted the way Moore and her family choose to live.

“We wash hands all the time and his teachers wash their hands. We don’t go to restaurants; we don’t go into large gathering places. We really are following a lot of the COVID protocols still, but really thinking more about RSV,” Moore said.

During the pandemic, RSV cases were nearly nonexistent, according to Matthew Ledoux, ECU Health’s pediatric chair and chief of Maynard Children’s Hospital. However, this year, cases are expected to increase.

“This year, we’re expecting to see a pretty bad year. It’s already starting to hit us,” Ledoux.

Ledoux encourages people to wash their hands frequently, not to send a sick child to school, to mask up, stay away from sick people, and avoid close contact with others to protect infants.

Along with necessary safety guidelines, for Moore, paying close attention to your children is the most important thing.

“Be their advocate. If you think something’s wrong, you know your child best,” Moore says.

RSV symptoms include coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, and a fever.

Children who are experiencing RSV are thought to be contagious for five to eight days. However, some can be contagious for as long as a month, according to pediatricians.

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