COVID-19 is far from being the only respiratory illness that can affect us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we must be aware of another condition that can become a serious threat: respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is a cold-like respiratory illness that attacks the patient’s lungs and airways. The warning comes amid a spike in cases across southern regions of the US.
The concerning news comes from MiamiHerald, and the CDC urges clinicians and caregivers to be on the lookout for the virus.
RSV infections arise in at least a dozen American states
Experts see a small increase in infections with RSV in states such as Florida, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, and Mississippi.
The advisory states:
Due to this increased activity, CDC encourages broader testing for RSV among patients presenting with acute respiratory illness who test negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,
RSV can be associated with severe disease in young children and older adults.
While infants and children are the least vulnerable for COVID-19 illness, these groups are most affected by RSV illness when the virus is installed. Also, older adults who suffer from underlying medical conditions are also vulnerable to RSV, which is a clear resemblance with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The good news, according to the CDC, is that most people suffering from RSV recover in one or two weeks, as the virus usually causes mild symptoms. But the virus can become serious, as it’s the most common cause of bronchiolitis (aka inflammation of the small airways from the lung) and pneumonia (lung infection) in kids younger than one-year-old from the US.
RSV can usually be spread through airborne droplets if someone sneezes or coughs. Catching the virus through direct contact with a contaminated surface is also possible.