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Is it the flu or RSV? Texas sees a rise in the virus during this time of year

Posted at 8:02 AM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 09:02:28-05

TEMPLE, TX — The Texas Department of Health and Human Services records the cases of Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV) weekly, and they notice a spike each year when the weather gets cooler.

RSV is like the flu or a common cold, anyone can get it but its those who are under the age of 2 and older the age of 65.

According to Texas Health and Human Services, RSV can cause bronchiolitis or pneumonia and in more severe cases can result in respiratory failure. The symptoms are a cough that is worsening over time, unusually rapid breathing or difficulty breathing and a bluish color of the lips or fingernails.

Most children hospitalized for RSV are under the age of six months. Dr. Rachel Styer with the McLane Children's Hospital in Temple says its 50/50 if parents know what RSV is or not.

"Some parents are very afraid of RSV but really try to reassure parents this is not something to be scared of if they're having increase respiratory problems," Dr. Styer said.

RSV is like any virus so although there is no immediate cure the best thing to do is let it run its course and treat it like you would a common cold.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services have recently seen more cases of RSV and DR. Styer is also seeing an increase in kids visits during this time of year.

The best way to prevent the virus is to wash your hands often, cover sneezes and coughs and avoid areas where more germs may be present like child care centers.

For more information on RSV you can visit the DSHS website.