The Impacts of RSV in Our Region
Advice on Handling the Risks
An RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) diagnosis can be unnerving for some individuals
and families. While most people recover over time, RSV can be severe. According to
the CDC, 58,000 - 80,000 children younger than five years old are hospitalized every year
with the virus. RSV can cause illness in all ages but mainly impacts children and
older adults. Premature babies and young infants are more prone to developing RSV.
Most children will get the virus before the age of 2. Individuals with a lower immune
system or heart or lung disease will have a greater risk of developing symptoms with
RSV. For those who are most at risk, ETSU Health offers resources ranging from testing to care and is always there to provide for
those in the area.
Understanding How RSV Impacts Individuals
Respiratory Syncytial Virus, better known as RSV, causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract. The virus acts like a cold but can be much worse if not treated in time, especially in babies. RSV comes around in the United States from fall to spring. This trend is similar to what is happening in the surrounding East Tennessee area, with higher numbers of infections occurring during this time.
From the time of exposure, it can take three to eight days for someone to become ill. RSV can spread from person to person and infect the nose, throat, and lungs. The virus will infect the highest number of children in large groups of people, at daycare, and when coming into contact with someone who already has it. With more people staying inside due to the cooler weather, close contact with others is more challenging to avoid. The virus can cause trouble breathing, leading to bronchiolitis or pneumonia, which are the leading causes of infant hospitalization.