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BCH family medicine physician talks respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

February 4, 2020


[Anchor] Flu season is here and fortunately it
seems to be off to a slow start in Colorado. In the latest report from the
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, it shows there have been 61
flu cases so bad patients have been admitted to the hospital. That is up 41
from last week but still fewer than we typically see this time of year.
The state starts tracking cases the last week of September and they stop
tracking in mid-May. It is pretty common to catch a cold this time of year but
some infections can be a lot more serious. Boulder Community Health says
from now through spring they’ll be on the lookout for cases of respiratory
syncytial virus, or RSV. It’s most serious for children and young infants,
especially premature babies. The virus typically leads to a lower respiratory
tract infection. The symptoms involve lung congestion that can be difficult
for babies to manage. [Dr. Garfein] It causes death and roughly 5% of kids under 1 years of age
who come into contact with it. So, it can be a severe illness. But along those
lines, we don’t have much that we can do about it. So, for the most part, it’s
called supportive care, which is just a lot of tender loving care. Oftentimes
that babies are hospitalized they’ll need some extra oxygen and they’ll just need
that extra support. [Anchor] So, if you know anyone with a baby right now be considerate,
don’t visit if you’re sick. And for RSV, just like other germs, doctors say the
best way to prevent the spread is through frequent hand-washing.

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