Doctors warn of spreading respiratory syncytial virus or RSV among infants and toddlers, reports NBC.
Why it matters: RSV, which usually peaks during the winter months, spreads unexpectedly, especially in southern states. The virus can cause serious illness in children and older adults and kills as many as 500 children under 5 per year. NBC.
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The big picture: Due to masking and social distance over the past year during the worst parts of the pandemic, there was a decline in respiratory diseases like RSV, but this break seems to be over, reports Axios̵
“My speculation is that because we suppressed the normal circulation time in the winter, it is a kind of compensation for lost time now,” said Dr. Claudette Poole, a pediatrician for infectious diseases at the Children of Alabama in Birmingham, for NBC.
If a child is diagnosed with RSV, doctors advise parents to monitor their breathing. Very young babies and children with underlying lung disease or weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to RSV.
Bottom line: “We usually talk about RSV in the winter, but we have to be on the lookout now, even in the summer, ”said Dr. Diana Peterson, a pediatrician at Ochsner Hospital for Children, for NBC.
Go deeper: Doctors see a delayed seasonal increase in RSV in children
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