Health Officials Warn Of A Deadly Disease Spreading In Louisiana

Matt Lillywhite

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The CDC has issued a warning about RSV, a deadly virus that hospitalizes 235,000 Americans per year. It's extremely dangerous for young babies and senior citizens. Quoting a statement:

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this health advisory to notify clinicians and caregivers about increased interseasonal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity across parts of the Southern United States. Due to this increased activity, CDC encourages broader testing for RSV among patients presenting with acute respiratory illness who test negative for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. RSV can be associated with severe disease in young children and older adults. This health advisory also serves as a reminder to healthcare personnel, childcare providers, and staff of long-term care facilities to avoid reporting to work while acutely ill – even if they test negative for SARS-CoV-2."

RSV is an RNA virus transmitted by respiratory droplets and contact with a contaminated surface when a person coughs or sneezes. In the United States, RSV is the most frequent cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants under the age of one. RSV infection can also cause serious illness in infants, young children, and older individuals with chronic medical problems.

According to publicly available data, RSV causes approximately 58,000 hospitalizations and several hundred fatalities in children under the age of five in the United States per year. It also causes 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in senior citizens aged 65 and over. In total, that's 235,000 hospitalizations per year.

Many healthcare workers throughout the state of Louisiana are extremely concerned about the next few months. After all, the confluence of Covid, Flu, and RSV will inevitably strain hospital capacity in New Orleans and several other cities. Quoting an article published by Fast Company:

"During the height of the pandemic, before there was a vaccine, masking and social distancing kept these other illnesses in check. But with adults masking and socially distancing less and kids still unvaccinated and returning to school, there is a big opportunity for people to get sick from COVID-19 and everything else simultaneously."

Are you concerned about emerging diseases in Louisiana? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.

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