CDC Warns of Deadly Disease In North Carolina

Matt Lillywhite

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The CDC has recently warned of a deadly disease called Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) that's quickly taking hold in North Carolina and several other nearby states.

For most healthy adults, the virus will be very similar to a typical cold. However, according to the statement from the CDC, "RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age in the United States. Infants, young children, and older adults with chronic medical conditions are at risk of severe disease from RSV infection." Symptoms typically include:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

Thankfully, health officials and medical staff in North Carolina are well-trained to deal with the Respiratory Syncytial Virus. However, it causes around 58,000 hospitalizations in children under five, with 100-500 fatalities, and 177,000 hospitalizations in adults 65 and over, with 14,000 deaths per year.

The RSV virus can cause significant disease in babies, young children, and older people with chronic medical conditions. So if you have relatives or friends that fit these descriptions, it's worth keeping a watch out for any worrying signs. Quoting the CDC:

"Healthy adults and infants infected with RSV do not usually need to be hospitalized. But some people with RSV infection, especially older adults and infants younger than 6 months of age, may need to be hospitalized if they are having trouble breathing or are dehydrated. In the most severe cases, a person may require additional oxygen or intubation (have a breathing tube inserted through the mouth and down to the airway) with mechanical ventilation (a machine to help a person breathe). In most of these cases, hospitalization only lasts a few days."

The CDC recommends that patients in North Carolina with acute respiratory illness who test negative for Covid-19 be tested for RSV because of the increased virus activity. It's also worth mentioning that the methods of RSV transmission are very similar to Covid-19. When a person coughs or sneezes, respiratory droplets are released, and also when direct contact with a contaminated surface occurs.

The state of North Carolina has recently lifted mandatory mask requirements for most indoor and outdoor settings, excluding public transportation, child care, schools, prisons, and certain public health settings. Therefore, the chances of catching the virus will inevitably be higher than if Covid restrictions were still in place in North Carolina.

Are you concerned about RSV in North Carolina? Or have you caught it in the past? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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