As winter approaches, doctors warn parents about dangers of RSV - KCTV5

As winter approaches, doctors warn parents about dangers of RSV

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Doctors say the virus tends to pop up in the Midwest in December and typically lasts through March. (Graphicstock) Doctors say the virus tends to pop up in the Midwest in December and typically lasts through March. (Graphicstock)
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a dangerous illness that affects children from two months to two years old. 

In the beginning, it has signs and symptoms similar to the common cold but the treatment process for RSV is different.

Some kids may have to get breathing treatments to battle the illness.

RSV is already spreading throughout the east coast and reports say cases have doubled in the past two weeks.

Doctors say they're not seeing it here yet, but they will soon. They say the virus tends to pop up in the Midwest in December and typically lasts through March. 

Pediatrician Michael Lewis explains who needs to take the most caution from this contagious illness. 

“Kids who have been born premature, kids who have any heart conditions, or an underline heart condition...those are going to be the ones, or like I said, have a history of a lung issue...those are the ones that are at risk for complications,” Lewis said.

A child with immune system issues is at a higher risk if they contract the virus. Conditions, such as prematurity, chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease, can make babies more susceptible.

"It produces a lot of mucus down in their lungs. So you get a pretty wet cough for little infants. Those are the kids you probably need to be the most concerned about Is probably who are less than six months of age," Lewis said. "They just don’t quite have the muscle strength, sometimes they’ll cough to try to get the mucus up which will then cause issues for them.”

Lewis says hygiene is the best prevention from this dangerous illness.

“So if we have good hand hygiene at school, at daycare and at home, then we have the opportunity to decrease its spread because it is very contagious,” Lewis added.

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