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Central Indiana’s RSV case rate is rising



Indianapolis, Indiana – Central Indiana is experiencing a rise in cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, according to medical professionals at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

“We’ve seen a big uptick in the past month or so of RSV cases in our ICU, similar to last year we had a big peak in October and November, this year it’s peaking a little bit later,” said Dr. Andy Beardsley, the Medical Director at the hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

RSV can spread by respiratory droplets, just as the COVID-19 virus, according to Dr. Beardsley. Adults and younger children are affected, particularly preterm newborns and kids with asthma.

“One, their immune systems are less developed, and two, their airways are smaller, so the mucus production that’s caused by the virus can plug up their airways much easier,” said Beardsley.

Some symptoms, including a fever, breathing difficulties, or colds, can be managed at home; however, if your kid is having difficulty breathing, you may need to seek medical attention.

“If they’re having a lot of trouble berating, we have a tool called chest cuirass, sometimes called a turtle shell,” Beardsley said. “It’s basically a plastic shell that sits on your chest and provides pressure to help the baby breathe.”

Some antibodies can be given to a newborn to protect them against RSV, even though they are not strictly a vaccination.

“The good news about RSV is the vast majority of the time the kids will get better,” Beardsley said. “While it can be deadly, we think of that mostly in kids with high risk, prematurity, congenital heart disease things like that.”

The best measures to stop the spread of RSV are to mask and wash your hands often.


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