Phoebe warns of rising respiratory virus cases as October begins

Cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are on the rise in southwest Georgia and across the...
Cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are on the rise in southwest Georgia and across the state, according to Phoebe.(WALB)
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 11:05 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As respiratory virus cases awareness month begins in October, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is already seeing a rise in cases.

Respiratory Syntical Virus (RSV) is a cold-like disease that hospitalizes around 58,000 children under 5 annually, according to Phoebe.

“Almost every child will contract RSV at some point before their second birthday. Most children recover in a week or so, but occasionally, RSV can lead to bronchiolitis or pneumonia and require hospitalization,” Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Medical Director of Pediatric Services, Dr. Grace Davis said.

Hospital officials said that RSV is seen year-round but is most prominent in the fall time.

Commonly seen early symptoms of RSV may include runny nose, cough and decrease in appetite. Young infants may also show signs of irritability, decreased activity and pauses while breathing.

Steps you can take to prevent the spread of RSV include:

  • Washing your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding close contact with sick people
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and objects
  • Stay home when you are sick

Washing your baby’s toys, clothes and bedding often, keeping your baby away from crowds, young children and people with colds, and not letting anyone smoke in your home or near your baby are also steps that can provide more protection to infants.

If your child is experiencing any respiratory symptoms, hospital officials suggest contacting a nearby hospital or urgent care for treatment.