Many people hoped Covid-19 would be the only deadly virus that South Carolina has to deal with this year. But unfortunately, I have extremely bad news.
In a recent statement, the CDC said a respiratory virus is spreading throughout South Carolina and many other states around the country. Although it's just a cold for most healthy adults, it can be deadly for babies, young children, and anyone who is immunocompromised.
Named respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), it has symptoms that are extremely similar to Covid-19. For example, dry cough, sore throat, and a headache. But in severe cases, it can also cause a fever and difficulty breathing. Therefore, if you (or any loved ones) are susceptible to RSV, it might be worth wearing a mask for a little longer. Quoting the CDC:
"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."
Also, if you have symptoms of Covid-19 but test negative, the CDC recommends getting tested for RSV in the state of South Carolina. It's worth noting that the recommendation also applies to adjacent states such as Georgia and North Carolina since the virus is in those places, as well.
The RSV virus enters the body via the eyes, nose, or mouth. Infected respiratory droplets transmit it quickly via the air. So, if someone with RSV coughs or sneezes, you might become sick. Direct contact, such as shaking hands, can also potentially spread the infection to others. On hard surfaces like worktops, handrails, and toys, the virus may survive for hours. Plus, you're much more likely to catch RSV if you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after handling a contaminated item.
During the first week following infection, an infected individual is most infectious. However, in newborns and individuals with immune systems that aren't fully developed, the virus can spread for up to four weeks after symptoms have gone away.
Are you concerned about the spread of emerging viruses? Let me know in the comments. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.
This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered medical advice. Please consult a doctor before making any decisions that could impact your health.
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