US hospitals report unusually high RSV rates in children

Pediatricians nationwide are seeing higher-than-normal numbers of young children due to respiratory syncytial virus infection, a common virus that causes cold-like symptoms, CNN reports.

In recent weeks, the Cleveland Clinic has reported an almost 20 percent increase in pediatric ED visits due to RSV, Purva Grover, MD, medical director of Cleveland Clinic Children's pediatric emergency departments, told CNN. 

Annual RSV numbers have doubled at Louisville, Ky.-based Norton Children's Hospital, Erik Martin, DNP, RN, the hospital's chief nursing officer, wrote in a Jan. 10 email to CNN. "The fact that we've already seen so many cases means we could be in for a rough ride for a few more months," he added.

The CDC does not require reporting for RSV, meaning complete national data on the virus is unavailable, Scott Pauley, a CDC spokesperson, said in a Jan. 10 statement to CNN. 

There is no vaccine against RSV, but hand-washing and avoiding close contact with sick people can help prevent infection, Dr. Martin said.

Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be deadly for infants. Symptoms include runny nose, decreased appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing, the CDC reports.

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