RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -The Washoe County Health District on Wednesday announced an unusually high number of respiratory syncytial virus cases. It is a risk in particular to infants and to older adults, especially those with chronic diseases.
There are now about 343 cases in Washoe County after the number of cases double each week for the last few weeks.
The Nevada Hospital Association reports that due to RSV cases as well as influenza and COVID-19, pediatric beds and pediatric intensive care unit beds are at capacity or above capacity.
The 156 RSV cases reported last week is more than the 148 RS cases reported during the first five weeks of the 2021-22 season.
Most RSV cases will go away within a week or two, the health district said. There is no vaccine for the virus, although research is underway to find one.
“We’re on pace to have one of the worst RSV seasons ever reported in Washoe County,” Kevin Dick, Washoe County district health officer, said in a statement. “The risk of RSV is very serious for infants and young children as well as our older adults, especially those with chronic health conditions. Because there is no vaccine for RSV, we must take extra precaution to protect our vulnerable populations.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the symptoms for RSV start four to six days after infection and include: a runny nose, a decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing.
The CDC says for very young infants, the only RSV symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity and breathing difficulties, and most children will get RSV by age 2. Call your healthcare provider if you or your child is having difficulty breathing, not drinking enough fluids, or experiencing worsening symptoms.
CDC tips for avoiding RSV:
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching faces with unwashed hands
- If you have symptoms of RSV, stay home from school or work
- Limit the time spent in childcare centers or other potentially contagious settings during periods of high RSV activity. This may help prevent infection and the spread of the virus during the RSV season
More information: https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/index.html
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