RSV cases are on the rise – here are tips to protect yourself and others from respiratory illness

RSV cases are on the rise – here are tips to protect yourself and others from respiratory illness

The number of hospitalizations due to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases continues to rise across the country.

In Florida, the Department of Health is tracking an above-average number of RSV cases in Florida communities.

According to the press release, “This common respiratory virus may be causing more pediatric emergency visits than in previous years.”

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RSV is an infection of the lungs and respiratory tract with symptoms similar to the common cold.

Mild symptoms may include a stuffy or runny nose, dry cough, low-grade fever, sore throat, sneezing, and headache.

In severe cases, symptoms may include fever, cough, wheezing, rapid or difficult breathing, or bluish skin.

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To protect yourself and others from respiratory diseases:

· Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

· Avoid close contact with sick people.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

· Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick.

· Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.

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According to a DOH press release, infants are most affected by RSV. Symptoms of severe cases in infants include short, shallow and rapid breathing, difficulty breathing, coughing, poor feeding, unusual tiredness or irritability.

Most children and adults recover in one to two weeks.

Severe or life-threatening infections that require a hospital stay can occur in premature babies or in anyone with chronic heart or lung problems.

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For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.

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