Springfield-Greene County Health Department, healthcare partners respond to the surge in RSV

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Press release modified / KY3) – The Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Mercy Springfield, CoxHealth, and the Jordan Valley Community Health Center are calling on families to take precautions as we approach respiratory disease season.

Greene County hospitals are seeing a surge in patients seeking treatment for respiratory diseases. The surge is mainly among children, many of whom are sick with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

“We’re seeing the kind of peak now that we don’t usually see until January,” Sonya Kullmann told Mercy Springfield. “The concern is not knowing how high the numbers will rise.”

CoxHealth is also seeing more than typical RSV cases at the start of the respiratory disease season. Public relations director Cary Nabors adds that CoxHealth “is closely monitoring the situation and has plans in place if the numbers rise to the level of hospitals across the country.”

RSV is a virus that typically causes cold-like symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • Rhinorrhea.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Cough.
  • Sneezing.
  • Fever.
  • Hiss

While most people experience mild symptoms and recover within 1 to 2 weeks, children and the elderly are at risk for serious illness and hospitalization. Immunocompromised children are at higher risk for serious illness, including:

  • Premature babies.
  • Babies, especially those 6 months and younger.
  • Children under 2 years of age with chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease.
  • Children who have neuromuscular disorders, including genetic disorders that can cause difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus from the throat.

There is no vaccine or antiviral treatment for RSV. If you or your child have difficulty breathing, don’t drink enough fluids, or are experiencing worsening symptoms, contact a healthcare professional immediately.

Hospitals are predicting continuous waves caused by viruses such as RSV, flu and COVID-19. Experts were already predicting a worse-than-normal flu season based on the prevalence of flu in southern hemisphere countries, such as Australia, which has seen its worst flu season in five years. An increase in these three viruses could impact the resources and services available to the community.

Mercy Hospital has already restricted siblings’ visits to their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to prevent the spread of these viruses, and CoxHealth is continuing its policy of not allowing visitors under the age of 15 to its NICU. . Additionally, both health systems continue to require visitors to wear masks indoors to reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses.

Families, particularly those with children, can help prevent the spread of RSV and other respiratory diseases.

  • Avoid close contact with people who experience cold-like symptoms.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching a child’s face with unwashed hands.

If you or your child have cold or flu symptoms, you should:

  • Avoid contact with others, especially children and the elderly who are at high risk for serious illness.
  • Use a tissue or shirt sleeve to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, not your hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and continue proper hand washing.
  • Do not share food, drinks or utensils with others.

Jordan Valley Community Health Center is available for sick children who need a provider. The Express Care Clinic (618 N Benton) is open Monday to Friday from 7:00 to 19:00 and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 to 16:00 In addition, the pediatric clinic is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 16:30

More information on RSV and other seasonal diseases can be found on the website of the Department of Health. In addition to preventing the spread of RSV, the Department of Health is urging the community to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and get vaccinated against the flu. Opportunities for both vaccinations, including updated COVID-19 booster shots, can be found at vaccino417.com.

To report a correction or a typo, send an email [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *