RSV cases rise in the Concho Valley

RSV cases affect the most vulnerable population.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV, with people who get it will usually experience cold-like symptoms. The virus can affect anyone but babies are the most vulnerable. 

“The thing that we worry about and the reason we tell everyone about RSV is because it’s more dangerous for kids who are very young and especially any baby that was born premature and maybe may not have the best lungs. It can make them very sick and potentially even land them in the hospital needing some extra oxygen,” Shannon Pediatrics Clinic Pediatrician, Dr. Carolyn Riley. said. 

Riley said there’s been an increase in cases in the past months in the Concho Valley. Some medical professionals say its possible to see a “tripple-demic,” which is a combination of COVID-19, flu and RSV. 

“It’s very possible to have more than one virus at a time. We’ve been seeing some kiddos in the hospital that have 2 to 3 viruses, not always COVID or flu and RSV, but there’s a number of other ones that are going around,” Riley said. 

There is no vaccine available to prevent or give prolonged immunity. However, there is a vaccine to treat the most vulnerable population while they have the virus. 

“It’s not a traditional vaccine and we really only give it to our most vulnerable babies. So babies that are born preterm, babies that have lung problems, heart problems, those are the main kids we’re trying to give it to because they’re the ones in the most at risk group. They’re the ones who are going to get the sickest if they get it,” Riley said. 

She said people with RSV are contagious up to five days before symptoms begin and as long as they have a fever and secretions.

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