RSV season underway in Wausau area - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

RSV season underway in Wausau area


by Pam Warnke

MARATHON COUNTY(WAOW)-- While you may be worried about H1N1 and seasonal flu this time of year there's another season underway.  There's a sneaky, easily spread virus moving in on children right now.

 Health leaders at Saint Clare's Hospital in Weston are seeing an increasing number of young children with Respiratory Syncytial Virus.  It's more commonly called RSV and usually hits a community during the winter months.  The Wausau area started seeing cases about two weeks ago.

RSV starts with what seems to be a common cold and progresses to a serious respiratory infection with coughing fits, a congested nose, loss of appetite and often a fever.

"In general, the younger you are the more likely you are to have a severe infection.  So, we're especially worried about babies 6 months and younger in age when RSV season hits," said Dr. Ellen Schumann, Medical Director of Women and Family Services at St. Clare's Hospital.



 The groups at greatest risk for becoming seriously infected are babies born premature, have respiratory disease or a heart defect.

 The virus spreads very easily and can live for awhile on surfaces.  The best prevention, as with most things, is good handwashing.  The body never really develops antibodies to RSV meaning you can get the virus again even in the same season.

Online Reporter: Pam Warnke 





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