CLEVELAND — Respiratory Syncytial Virus, more commonly called by the abbreviation RSV, has seen a dramatic uptick recently in infants.
RSV is a virus that causes mild, cold like symptoms. Most people get over it within a week or two, but it can be potentially dangerous for not only infants, but older adults as well.
3News spoke about the uptick in RSV cases throughout the country with Dr. Keith Armitage with University Hospitals. Dr. Armitage is the Medical Director of the Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine & Global Health.
He says, "We are seeing a significant increase [of RSV] which is also true for the entire United States."
And the virus affects more than children. Here are hospitalization and death numbers for kids and adults taken from a Reuters study:
RSV leads to 58,000 hospitalizations among children under age 5
For adults on average, 177,000 hospitalizations 65 and older. But Armitage says adults in their 40's can get it too.
While RSV deaths for children are rare, over 14,000 adults die every year from the virus.
Armitage added, "Kids are being severely affected be RSV but adults are getting the virus too."
As we head deeper into fall looking toward winter, it's not only RSV that will be causing issues. The seasonal flu and COVID are still factors that have to be taken seriously. And not only do they have to be taken seriously, but they could easily be mistaken for RSV.
Armitage continued, "I have had a number of individuals who were certain clinically they had COVID and several tests were negative."
Which means someone can still carry the virus. And covid numbers are on the rise. Regarding RSV the virus is highly contagious. And recommends this if you are not caring for kids.
"I don't' think as a society we are ready to go back to mask and social distancing stay away from sick kids."