RSV cases among children spiking in Miami Valley earlier than normal

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Amid a delta variant surge, doctors at Dayton Children’s say there’s another virus making its way around the Miami Valley that parents should be aware of.

The increase in RSV cases is unusual because infections typically start to increase in colder months, but the virus itself is not uncommon.

“Pretty much all kids by the age of 2-years-old would’ve had some type of exposure to RSV,” said Dr. Michael Klatte, the chief of infectious disease at Dayton Children’s.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a contagious virus that causes infections of the respiratory tract. Cases of infection typically increase during the winter and early spring cold and flu seasons. Dr. Klatte said Dayton Children’s has diagnosed over 500 cases of RSV since July 1, which is higher than what they’d see during a normal season.

“We saw basically no cases of RSV last season which again is unheard of,” he said.

He cites coronavirus safety measures, like masking and hand-washing, for the decline last year.

The RSV symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever

Klatte said there can be an overlap in symptoms associated with RSV and covid-19, so parents should also look out for symptoms that are not familiar with a common cold, including wheezing, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia.

He said because fewer kids were exposed to RSV last year, that also plays a role in why we’re seeing an increase now.

“We’re not 100% percent certain though we suspect covid-19 played a significant role in altering RSV’s typical winter and early spring seasonal pattern,” Klatte said.

While there’s no treatment to kill the virus, here are things you can do to prevent it like washing your hands often, social distancing, and staying at home if you’re sick.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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