The CDC has issued a strong warning about a rapidly growing virus in Texas and has symptoms strikingly identical to COVID-19. It's called Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and healthcare professionals are thankfully well equipped to deal with it.
After Texas relaxed capacity limitations in pubs and restaurants in the fall of last year, pathologists from Houston Methodist Hospital discovered that many infectious viruses are resurfacing amongst the population of Texas. They also found that seasonal colds, parainfluenza, and RSV all increased significantly in the two months after Texas lifted its mask mandate in early March, allowing companies to run at full capacity.
"Each year in the United States, RSV leads to on average approximately 58,000 hospitalizations with 100-500 deaths among children younger than 5 years old and 177,000 hospitalizations with 14,000 deaths among adults aged 65 years or older," the CDC reported in an announcement.
Like Covid-19, RSV is primarily transferred by respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing and direct contact with a contaminated surface. In many states, such as Texas, it's also the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in kids under the age of one.
It's important to remember that RSV infection can cause serious illness in infants, young children, and older individuals with chronic medical problems. So if you have family or friends that fall into those categories, it might be worth keeping an eye out for any concerning symptoms.
Because of the increasing activity in Texas, the CDC recommends that patients with acute respiratory disease who test negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, be tested for RSV. After all, in young infants and elderly people, RSV has been linked to severe illness.
RSV infections are most common in the United States during the autumn and winter cold and flu seasons. RSV activity dropped dramatically in April 2020, owing to the implementation of public health measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. But during the last few months, there has been a giant upsurge in RSV infections.
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