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Respiratory Virus Strikes Hundreds Of Texas Kids
First it was H1N1 flu. Then it was Cedar Fever. Now it's Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV. According to state health officials 800 Texans were diagnosed with the respiratory infection just last week -- and the number is growing.
Infants with RSV may cough and wheeze but otherwise show few signs that a virus is attacking their respiratory system. Having RSV can be a miserable time for your child, but it doesn't have to land them in the hospital.
Doctors at Dell Children's Medical Center say it's hard for children to hide from the virus this time of year. And once they get RSV it will be with them awhile.
Dr. Rebecca Floyd says the cough brought on by RSV can last for two to four weeks accompanied by an initial bout of wheezing during the first week of illness.
RSV can hit anyone, but it's mainly the youngest victims who require hospitalization since their breast-feeding depends on breathing.
Dr. Floyd says, "Typically with the younger infants when they have more wheezing with it and more difficulty breathing that affects their feeding and that is usually an indication for hospitalization."
There is no vaccine to prevent RSV. Doctors say the best you can do is to wash your hands often and avoid people who might be infected.
By Fred Cantu