TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A respiratory illness called ‘RSV’ is spreading throughout the country and has reached the Wabash Valley.
The first cases in our area were seen in early June.
“Right now we’re now seeing a huge spike in Vigo County going through our daycares and a lot of young ones getting sick with RSV,” said Roni Elder, Vigo County Health Department Health Educator.
RSV is similar to the flu as they share similar symptoms such runny nose, cough or fatigue. However, RSV is almost exclusively a winter illness leaving many in the health community confused as to why the spike of cases is in the summer months.
According to the CDC, the disease is most dangerous for children under the age of five as they are the most likely to be hospitalized than other age groups.
A lift in mask mandates could be a reason for the rise in cases at an unusual time.
“We’ve gone a year or so masking, so even if someone did have RSV, the babies would be protected because adults were wearing mask around them,” said Elder.
If a child were to develop a slight cough or any RSV symptom, the health department recommends that they see a physician.
“Any child under the age of three that has a cough should go get examined at their doctors office to see if they have RSV,” said Elder.
The CDC says that most children get an RSV infection by the age of two, but many cases are mild and cold-like. However, washing your hands, covering your coughs and avoiding sick people can greatly reduce the risk of getting RSV.