Doctors see increase in RSV cases

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
News 12 First at Five

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- This time of year most people are worried about catching the flu.

Dr. Mark Newton, MD, and CEO of MedNow says they’ve been seeing increasing cases in the flu. "When it comes to the flu, we have been seeing a good many cases now."

But that's not the only illness in the air.

"Respiratory Syncytial Virus is an illness that is out there it can look just like a cold,” Dr. Newton says.

AU Medical says they have seen a lot of cases of RSV. It's an illness Dr. Newton says is mostly a problem for young children.

“If you or I got it we'd think it was just a cold, if they get it they could start to have increased effort of breathing that's kind of the first thing they might breathe more rapidly."

Dr. Newton says if your child is taking 40 or more breaths per minute that can be a red flag.

"It's pretty simple to count for 15 seconds then multiply it by 4 just to see if your child is breathing fast," he explains.

There are other symptoms you can look out for.

"The skin in between their ribs can retract in, their nose especially under 2 years of age, their nose kind of just flares out,” Dr. Newton says.

If you think your child could have RSV you have a few options.

"If you really think there's a breathing problem there's no substitute for the Emergency Department.” Dr. Newton goes on to say, “but if you're not sure or you just want them checked or some testing arranged than certainly Urgent Care is a good alternative."

Whether it's RSV or the flu, doctors say to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, clean surfaces,
and stay home if you are sick so you don't infect people around you.