What you need to know about respiratory syncytial virus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Children’s hospitals across the country are filling up, after a common respiratory virus is spreading earlier than usual this year.

The disease, called respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is common in children under age 2 and usually results in mild symptoms. But it can be severe in infants and older adults.

Doctors are seeing an early wave of RSV, the flu, and other common respiratory viruses — which they say is due in part of the relaxing of COVID restrictions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RSV usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. However, it can be serious, especially for infants and older adults.

Some of the symptoms include runny nose, coughing, and fever. The virus can cause lung infections, bronchitis, or pneumonia.

At least 26 states, including Rhode Island, are seeing increased pediatric RSV hospitalizations. In Connecticut, more than a dozen children are waiting for beds to become available.

Some hospitals are considering asking the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send resources.

Doctors are saying that they are committed to treating children no matter the circumstances, whether it’s in the hallway or in a potential tent.

For more information of this respiratory virus, visit CDC.gov.

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