Rising RSV cases in toddlers alarm local parents; Hear what doctors are saying

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – In the capital region, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is spreading and parents are becoming more concerned as it could be very serious for children.

Baby Noah spent six days in the hospital, battling RSV. Her father, Nathan Keller, said, initially they gave her medicine, but it did not help with her coughs or fever and that’s when they got concerned.

“It was scary as a parent just first caring for a kid that, you know, my daughter is just one [years old] so she’s really isn’t vocal yet so just trying to figure out what’s wrong,” said Keller.

Over the past few weeks, doctors have reported a spike in RSV cases in toddlers.

“In the emergency room, they had about 20 or 30 kids in there with the same symptoms,” said Keller.

The respiratory infection causes cold-like symptoms. According to doctors, most people recover in a week or two, but it can be serious especially for infants and older adults.

“A lot of that has to do with their smaller airways and their inability to blow out of their nose and create an adequate cough,” said Ochsner Health Pediatrician Dr. Truc Dinh, M.D.

Dinh said the virus is typically seen in the winter months, but they’re seeing a rare increase this summer.

“With the social distancing, masking and good hand hygiene throughout winter, we kind of curved it a little bit, and now that we’re relaxing on many of those precautions I think it’s making a comeback in the summer which is actually very, very weird,” said Dinh.

She adds, there’s no direct link between RSV and COVID-19, but parents should not let their guard down when it comes to taking safety precautions.

“Use proper good hand hygiene, stay home from daycare if you’re running fevers or having cold symptoms and if you’re out and about, I think it’s safe to wear a mask,” said Dinh.

“You know, feel it out, go with your gut and if all else fails, go to the professionals,” said Keller.

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