RSV may have already peaked in ENC

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – COVID-19, the flu, and RSV are the three big illnesses that see a spike during the winter months.

We’d all like to avoid catching them, but they can be particularly dangerous for certain groups of people.

“It can be serious for children, pregnant women, and older adults,” said Wes Gray, the Pitt County Health Department Director.

Gray says the ECU health system has seen a peak in the RSV illness around Thanksgiving, and though still high, cases are on the decline.

“About two weeks ago, we saw our highest number of RSV cases, about 140, and this most recent, we get dropped down to about 100 cases,” said Gray.

Gray also said that there has been a recently approved RSV vaccine for certain people.

“It’s been approved for people 60 and older and for people 32 to 36 weeks gestation if they’re pregnant,” said Gray.

Gray says that even if you are not eligible for the vaccine, there are ways to protect yourself.

“The way you prevent is the same as most of your respiratory illnesses: washing your hands, covering your cough, staying home when you’re sick, and all those types of preventative measures to hopefully ease some of this spread of RSV,” said Gray.

Advice some people are already putting advice into practice.

“Do what you’re supposed to do with distancing, sanitizing, touching,” said Winterville resident Paul Harding.

His friend Robert Mullen took similar precautions.

“Take whatever precautions if you’re sick; just stay away from other people, wash your hands,” said Mullen.

The health department says not to kiss babies; they don’t have an immune system as strong as a healthy adult, and you could spread it even if you don’t show symptoms.

If you feel like you may have been exposed to RSV or have cold-like symptoms, you may need to get tested by your doctor.