By Maggie Fox, CNN
(CNN) – The common cold virus, called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), is spreading across the South, causing an unusual wave of late spring disease, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.
The CDC has issued a health advisory network warning doctors and other healthcare providers to be vigilant about the virus, which can cause pneumonia, especially in very young children and babies.
“Because of this increased activity, the CDC is promoting wider testing for RSV among patients with acute respiratory illnesses that are negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-1
“RSV can be associated with severe illness in young children and the elderly. This health advice also reminds healthcare professionals, childcare providers and staff of long-term care facilities to avoid reporting work while they are acutely ill – even if the tests are negative for SARS-CoV-2. “
RSV spreads like most other respiratory diseases – with small droplets and on contaminated surfaces.
“RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under the age of one in the United States. “Infants, young children and adults with chronic diseases are at risk of severe RSV infection,” the CDC said.
“Each year in the United States, RSV results in an average of approximately 58,000 hospitalizations with 100-500 deaths among children under 5 years of age and 177,000 hospitalizations with 14,000 deaths among adults aged 65 years or older.”
RSV is one of the viruses most commonly observed in the fall and winter, but the incidence decreases sharply during a pandemic.
“Since the end of March, however, the CDC has seen an increase in the number of RSVs reported to the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS), a national network for passive laboratory monitoring,” the CDC said.
Distribution has been observed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
“Due to the reduced circulation of RSV in the winter months of 2020-2021, older babies and young children may now be at increased risk of severe RSV-related illness, as they probably did not have typical levels of RSV exposure. in the last 15 months, ”said the CDC.
There is no specific treatment for the virus.
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