My Experience With the Current RSV Spike Happening in Texas
Before last week, I don't know that I had ever heard anyone mention RSV. Last week, it was the reason why my son, my wife, and I were in the hospital.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is pretty common and most people can kick it with no real problems. It's dangerous in small children, babies, and the elderly. For my son, it was the cause behind his pneumonia that landed us in the hospital for all of last week.
Several of the nurses and doctors that we saw over that time told us that they are seeing a lot of cases of RSV right now. A friend of mine in Oklahoma told me that his child's doctor said the same.
It's not anecdotal. The CDC backs up their claims. There is a wave of RSV cases right now in southern states. That includes Texas, and Oklahoma.
Usually, RSV shows up in the fall and winter months. The idea is that with everyone wearing masks and social distancing, and staying home last year, not as many people were exposed to the virus. Now that things are opening back up and restrictions are being lifted, well you can do the math.
The symptoms can be mistaken for just a cold at first. Things like a runny nose, decrease in appetite, and a cough don't sound like they could end up with your child needing to be on oxygen for a week. They're pretty common.
However, that's what the CDC lists as the early symptoms. It's also exactly how all of this started for my family.
The list of things to do if your child is at risk for severe RSV infection is basically what we've all been doing now for over a year. Washing your hands, avoiding close contact with sick people, clean and disinfect surfaces, not touching your face; all are recommended ways to help prevent an infection.