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Unusual summer spike of RSV cases in Central Texas

In Waco, Dr. Brian Barkley a pediatrician at Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest said they are seeing a couple dozen cases a day.

WACO, Texas — The CDC is warning parents of an unusual summer spike of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection cases known as RSV in parts of the southern U.S.

The respiratory virus is most commonly found in young children and doctors are seeing an increase in Central Texas. 

In Waco, Dr. Brian Barkley a pediatrician at Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest said they are seeing a couple dozen cases a day.

"This is an extremely abnormal year," Dr. Barkley said. "RSV is almost exclusively a wintertime illness."

He said Covid restrictions may be a reason why RSV didn't spread in the winter. 

The respiratory virus causes cold-like symptoms but most children recover fairly quickly. While hospitalization is rare, it's most prevalent among newborns, infants, and toddlers because the virus can cause serious breathing problems. 

"If you're noticing that your baby is having a little more of a hard time breathing and what I usually tell parents is where they look like they're having a hard time breathing where you're seeing their rib cage kind of moving in and out or if they're just breathing faster or you can actually hear the wheezing," Dr. Barkley said. 

RSV is very contagious, so Dr. Barkley recommends avoiding close contact with others if your child has cold-like symptoms. 

"As long as they kind of seek appropriate timely medical care it's going to be just fine," Dr. Barkley said. 

He also recommends giving your doctor a call if you're have any concerns. 

Help prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by washing your hands frequently and avoiding close contact with others...

Posted by CDC on Thursday, June 17, 2021