Each year ushers in a new wave of respiratory illnesses, and the current season is not exempt. At the forefront now is the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, a common respiratory condition that typically causes cold-like symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided general guidelines about this condition.
Reported by Brianna Romero, the Infection Control Manager at Odessa Regional Medical Center, the healthcare facility has observed a rise in RSV cases in the area this season. There was a significant spike in cases during December and January, followed by a slight decline in February. Romero emphasized the prominence of RSV, particularly amongst young children.
Interestingly, even with the uptrend in RSV cases at the Odessa Regional Medical Center compared to the data from two years ago, RSV-induced hospitalizations have not witnessed a parallel increase, according to Romero.
Certain populations are more susceptible to this respiratory virus, such as neonates who are under 30 days old and infants that are obligate nose breathers. Kandice Herr, a Medical Center Hospital Care Coordinator, advises parents to monitor babies for signs of discomfort during feeding, noticeable retractions, and a decrease in wet diapers. These are severe symptoms that demand immediate attention.
RSV can affect the general public as well. To curb the virus spread, some health measures are recommended by experts like Dr. Sara Safarzardeh Amiri from the ORMC. Key preventive steps she advises include keeping symptomatic children home from school or daycare, regular hand washing, covering sneezes and coughs, and vigilant surface cleaning.