Many people hoped that Covid-19 would be the only virus that the state of Georgia would have to deal with this year. But unfortunately, that's not the case. Right now, there is a virus spreading across Georgia and many other states throughout the south. And for babies and elderly people, it can be deadly.
Here Are The Facts You Need To Know
It's called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). And every year, it leads to 58,000 hospitalizations and several hundred deaths in the United States amongst young children. In older demographics (65+), RSV typically leads to 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths per year.
In most adults, the symptoms will be similar to those of a cold. But in babies and young children, the disease can be a lot more serious. According to WebMD, here are several symptoms to look out for:
- A high-pitched whistling or wheezing noise when they breathe
- Being unusually upset or inactive
- Cough with yellow, green, or gray mucus
- Trouble breathing or pauses in their breaths
- Refusing to breastfeed or bottle-feed
- Signs of dehydration: lack of tears when crying, little or no urine in their diaper for 6 hours, and cool, dry skin
RSV is a seasonal virus that is most prevalent during the winter months. During the Covid pandemic, however, health experts are worried about an increase in hospitalizations. After all, Georgians are engaging with one another in much greater numbers than they were a year ago. Quoting an article published by The New York Times:
"The virus usually circulates in the fall and winter months, peaking in February. But the pandemic disrupted RSV's usual patterns: This past winter, many hospitals saw almost no cases of RSV, as people wore masks and physically distanced from one another during the lockdowns, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that positive test results for RSV (as well as influenza and other seasonal infections) reached historically low levels. Once states began to reopen and people eased up on masking and social distancing in the early summer, cases of RSV in infants and toddlers skyrocketed across the country."
Are you concerned about emerging diseases in the state of Georgia? Let me know in the comments. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.
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