What’s Going Around: RSV

Clinicians in CMH clinics in Bolivar are seeing a rise in respiratory infections, including RSV.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 8:56 AM CDT
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BOLIVAR, Mo. (KY3) - It’s something no parent wants to see, their child feeling sick but for parents right now, the run of the mill cough or sneeze is coming with a little more concern. Children’s hospitals across the U.S. are seeing a surge in RSV.

“We really haven’t slowed down as far as respiratory infections,” said Matt Havens, Physician Assistant at Butterfield Park Medical Center in Bolivar. “Now the cause ebbs and flows throughout the year. Number one, we’re still seeing a lot of COVID. There has been a few cases of influenza here in the kind of Polk County area. RSV, especially with the kiddos. We’ve been seeing that strep throat, and then a lot of other just those seasonal, cold viruses.”

RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is usually a common cause of mild cold symptoms. Havens said the surge in respiratory infections could be linked to the pandemic.

“When we’re dealing with RSV and really young kids we’re talking about preschool age and infants,” said Havens “We kind of went through a period where we didn’t see as many respiratory infections, because people were isolated from each other and then now that we’re back together, a lot of that immunity that we had built up over time has waned a little bit.”

Havens also said it can be hard for parents to differentiate RSV from Covid or another virus but there are some symptoms to watch for closely.

“What we worry about is if they’re having really increased work of breathing, where you can tell they’re struggling to get air,” said Havens. “If they turn blue around the lips, what we call cyanotic. That’s something where you need to get them in as a medical emergency, that if they got a really bad kind of barking cough, sometimes it’ll be bad enough it makes them vomit. Get them in to see a provider so that we can do a test to see if it is RSV.”

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