According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a dangerous virus called RSV is becoming more prevalent throughout numerous American states. Regrettably, Arkansas is one of them. Quoting the warning:
"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."
When a person coughs or sneezes, RSV is spread through respiratory droplets and direct contact with a contaminated surface. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in newborns under one year in the United States. It's also worth mentioning that in babies, young children, and elderly people with chronic medical conditions, RSV infection can cause significant disease.
RSV causes roughly 58,000 hospitalizations and 100-500 deaths in children under the age of five in the United States each year, according to publicly accessible statistics, and 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths in persons 65 and over.
While RSV is a seasonal virus that spikes mainly during the winter, health experts are worried about increasing hospitalizations during the midst of the Covid pandemic. After all, people throughout the state of Arkansas are having a lot more social contact than they did in 2020. Quoting 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."
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