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Local hospital sees increase in infant respiratory virus

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AMARILLO - Local pediatric hospitals are full of patients suffering from the same illness right now, and it's not the flu.

"This year it's primarily RSV and then strep and flu are just kind of hanging back there a little bit," said BSA Hospital pediatric nurse Kristina Hudson.
    
More children are being hospitalized for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

BSA says the majority of patients that have come through the pediatric ICU in the past three weeks have been in for RSV.

"The hospitalized kids are ones that refuse to drink, can't drink, they're coughing so much that they're throwing up every time you put anything in their mouths," Hudson said.

Symptoms are similar to a cold with coughing, runny nose, congestion and fever. Anyone of any age can get RSV,and some people may not show any symptoms at all. But for infants...

"It can actually get into the lungs and actually cause pneumonia. So there's various degrees of RSV, like there is of anything," Hudson said.
     
The Centers for Disease Control is reporting epidemic levels of RSV in almost every state. Health professionals say the best way to keep from spreading it is to frequently wash your hands, and if you're showing symptoms, stay home and away from small children and babies.

"We can all have it, but we're spreading it to the little ones," Hudson said.

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