At peak RSV season, do you know what to watch for?

(WebMD) — You might have heard about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) on your local news, or have friends with kids who are sick. Although this common virus spreads from fall to spring, right now — from late December to mid-February — is peak RSV season.

Sarah Ash Combs, MD, a pediatric emergency medicine doctor at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., has seen a spike in the number of RSV cases since the start of winter.

“In November and December 2018, our numbers went from the high 400s to the mid-700s per month. That’s up from July, when we had only a hundred per month. It’s a seven-fold increase over the winter,” she says.

Because the virus starts out with upper respiratory symptoms like a stuffed nose, cough, and low-grade fever, parents often mistake it for a cold. Yet RSV can be much more serious. When it moves into a child’s lower respiratory tract, the virus inflames the bronchioles — the small branching airways in the lungs. (…)

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