Cleveland-area hospitals say RSV, flu cases rising
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - RSV cases are continuing to trend in the wrong direction in the state of Ohio.
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), according to ODH, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes cold-like symptoms. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and viral pneumonia in infants under 1 year old and can cause severe illness in older adults.
According to University Hospitals, they are seeing a respiratory surge which has meant an increase in the critical care beds needed. This increase comes at a horrible time as flu cases are also surging.
Urgent cars and pharmacies are also seeing an increased number of people battling respiratory illnesses. The Lakewood Urgent Care says they are seeing every age range battling the flu, RSV and in some cases COVID. They tell 19 News that while they are temporarily out of rapid flu tests, they can send a swab to the lab and test for a combination of the respiratory illnesses. Holly Zeller is a Physicians Assistant at Lakewood Urgent Care, “We have a combination product or combination test we should say that we’re sending to the labs to test for Flu A and B, COVID and RSV. So, it’s one swab, it’s not a rapid test, but, we do get it back in about 2 days.”
Zeller’s tells 19 News that while many cases of cold and flu can be nursed at home with rest, plenty of liquids, if someone is having trouble breathing, or is wheezing or experiencing more serious symptoms, get them to an emergency room or doctor immediately, “If they’re struggling to breathe, if they’re coughing, and they can’t catch their breathe, they have that croup type cough, that a 2-year-old tends to get, and they have a high temperature, then I would get them to an emergency room, urgent care or doctor.”
UH is reporting that one in three children who present a cough and fever are testing positive for RSV. That is why UH and other hospitals are suggesting the following preventative measures:
- For some babies who meet specific criteria for being at high risk of getting RSV, there is a preventive monoclonal antibody called Palivizumab available. Your child’s healthcare provider will discuss this option with you if your baby or child is eligible. Monoclonal antibodies will not treat or cure an existing infection and are only used to prevent RSV in eligible individuals.
- Encourage good handwashing of adults and older children in the household for at least 20 seconds.
- Remember to cover coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick (avoid kissing, handshakes, and sharing eating or drinking utensils).
- Clean high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, tables, cell phones, and other electronics.
- Older children, caregivers, and adults in the home who are sick with viruses should avoid interactions with individuals considered to be at high risk of severe RSV.
- Limit time in potentially contagious settings such as childcare centers.
- Decrease or eliminate exposure to environmental secondhand smoke and
- Breastfeeding, if you can, to help reduce respiratory infections.
- Keep an eye on RSV trends in your area and take extra precautions when needed.
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