Carilion Clinic, LewisGale report ‘high number’ of RSV cases in young children

Flu, COVID-19, and RSV cases are on the rise, experts report

ROANOKE, Va. – Across the country, medical professionals are reporting an increase in COVID-19 and flu cases. After two slower seasons, RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, has increased as well.

“During the pandemic, people weren’t out-and-about. Perhaps children weren’t exposed and didn’t develop typical immunity,” stated the Interim-Co-Chair Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic, Dr. Donald Kees.

RSV is common among children who are one to two years old, but some older children have tested positive as well. Colder months are the roughest on this population, however, infections began earlier this year.

“To manage it at home, suctioning of the nose is the most important thing you can do, especially before they lay down to sleep or eat,” said Dr. Kees.

In older children and adults, RSV can appear as a common cold.

In younger children, Dr. Kees said parents should look for cough and changes in breathing – fast and hard.

The Virginia Department of Health reports a “low” intensity of influenza, as of October 20, but local experts are concerned the upcoming flu season might be more intense than it typically is.

With all three on the rise, doctors worry about multiple infections at once.

Here’s how to protect yourself:

  • Stay home when you’re sick,
  • Don’t see elderly or sick patients when you’re infected,
  • Wash your hands with soap and water,
  • Practice social distancing,
  • Mask up if necessary,
  • Do not use your hands to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze

About the Author

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.

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