What is RSV and who could be at risk?

Health

Western Massachusetts hospitals are seeing more patients infected with RSV.

Baystate Medical Center said their Children’s Hospital is treating a lot of young patients with Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV,  infects the lungs and respiratory tract. The virus can affect anyone, but it’s most common among young children.

People infected with RSV can be contagious for up to eight days, but people with weakened immune systems can continue spreading the virus for a month.

RSV symptoms include difficulty breathing, fever, cough, and runny nose.

“I’ve never heard it in those terms but we all hear the flu and know this is cold season so I will just take precautions which I think is wise for everybody,” said James Carroll of Springfield.

Baystate Medical Center suggests RSV prevention methods: frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizer, and limiting time in child care centers and other potentially contagious settings.

Baystate treats Most RSV cases in the winter, but RSV has been arriving a couple weeks earlier over the past few years.

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