EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) —Now that September is here, concern is growing about viruses that can make you and your family sick.
While coronavirus and the flu may be getting much of the attention, they’re not the only viral infections on the rise.
There’s a virus reaching peak season that’s particularly dangerous to the very young and now a new awareness campaign is being launched to help your family avoid this virus.
Woman’s voice, “Nearly 100 percent of children will be infected with respiratory syncytial virus before age 2.”
A new American Lung Association educational campaign points to the 2.1 million children younger than 5 each year who require outpatient visits because they’re infected with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.
“I’m already starting to see cases,” Allergist and Immunologist Doctor Juanita Mora explains.
Dr. Mora blames that on the fact RSV is easily spread among kids.
“They cough on each other. They touch the same toys. They touch the same door knobs as well, too,” Dr. Mora continues.
Dr. Mora says this viral infection often starts with mild symptoms.
“So, the runny nose. The fever. The congestion. The poor appetite but it can result in complications especially as it hits the lungs,” Dr. Mora said.
Complications like bronchiolitis or pneumonia which most of the 58,000 children younger than 5 develop who end up hospitalized with RSV.
Especially vulnerable? Kids considered at high risk for the worst complications.
“Those preemies less than… born at less than 35 weeks. Those with congenital heart disease, with lung disease or those immunocompromised as well, too,” Dr. Mora stated.
So what symptoms should mom and dad look for to seek help and avoid having their child end up in the hospital with this RSV?
“When it hits the lungs and it can cause that hacking cough. If they’re having labored breathing. Their chest is moving up and down,” Dr. Mora elaborates.
Vomiting and Dehydration, too.
It’s why Dr. Mora is so passionate about the new RSV awareness campaign.
“I see kids getting very sick early on and it’s time to protect and save these babies,” Dr. Mora described.
Dr. Mora urges awareness on the part of expectant parents, too so that they know what to watch for in their newborns.
For more information on the virus, visit the American Lung Associations website.