Babies across South Plains at risk for respiratory virus

Babies across South Plains at risk for respiratory virus

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - During the winter season, we expect to see colds and flu in adults. But, babies in this area are now facing the added risk of a certain respiratory virus.

It is called Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and Covenant Health tells us they are seeing more cases of RSV right now.

"RSV ends up being transmitted through droplets that come out when we cough or sneeze," Megan Harvey, a pediatric hospitalist nurse practitioner, at Covenant Health says. "It can actually, live on the surface of objects, you know, furniture, clothing, things like that, for a few hours."

Harvey says as of Friday afternoon, there were five kids in the hospital with RSV.

"We have seen an increase, this month," she says. "We did have a little bit of an upswing this Christmas season and then a drop-off after that, and since then, we've seen a climb again in our rates."

Not tied to allergy season, Harvey says it could make your child's symptom worse, if the two are combined.

Though the virus can be present in adults too, it's more prevalent in infants during the months of January through March.

But, Harvey says she does not want parents to panic.

"RSV, like any other virus, just needs to ride out its course, it just needs to evolve out in time, on its own," she says. "It will get better, it will improve. Your child will turn back to their happy, normal selves, it just takes some time."

So, what can you do to try and avoid RSV?

Remember to practice good hand washing techniques and separate kids who get it, so they are not passing it along to other kids.

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