Reports of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are increasing in Tehama County across all age groups, including preschool aged children and adults, reports Tehama County Health Services Agency.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Different age groups will present with different symptoms as follows:

Infants younger than 6 months – Irritability, decreased activity, and/or apnea (temporary stopping of breathing, especially during sleep) with or without fever.

Older infants and young children – A decrease in appetite is often the first symptom which appears 1-3 days before a cough develops. After the cough develops symptoms may include sneezing, fever and sometimes wheezing.

Adults – Runny nose, inflammation of the throat, cough, headache, fatigue and fever.

Most people make a full recover within a week or two, but RSV can be very serious, especially for infants and older adults.

RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitiis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in infants.

Each year in the United State RSV causes about 58,000 hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years old and 177,000 hospitalizations among adults 65 years and older.

Those most at risk for severe illness include premature infants, infants younger than 6 months, children with congenital heart or lung disease, children with neuromuscular disorders, adults over the age 65, adults with underlying heart of lung disease and those with suppressed immune systems.

Efforts to help prevent the spread of RSV include covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or upper shirt sleeve, wash of hands frequently, avoid contact, such as shaking hands, sharing cups and eating utensils with others, don’t kiss others who have RSV, and clean frequently touched surfaces.

Anyone who believes they could have RSV should talk to their healthcare provider and isolate themselves from others.

If an infant or child is at high risk for severe RSV, talk to a healthcare provider and discuss what can be used as preventive measures.

For more information contact Tehama County Health Services Agency – Public Health at 530-527-6824 Red Bluff Office; 530-824-4890 Corning Office or toll free 1-800-655-6854.

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