LEXINGTON, Ky. – Health officials say they are seeing an uptick in the number of RSV cases.
Doctors say it is already the typical time of year for the respiratory virus to peak.
But officials with Norton Healthcare in Louisville report seeing triple the number of cases now compared to this time last year, according to the Courier-Journal.
Some health leaders in Lexington say they are also seeing an increase.
UK Healthcare has seen an increase in RSV cases in the past couple of weeks, Dr. Scottie Day, chief of pediatrics at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, told WKYT. Between UK Hospital and KCH there have been an average of five to 15 positive RSV lab tests per day (including both children and adults), Dr. Day said. That is higher than normal.
Experts say RSV symptoms are normally mild and similar to colds, but can be serious in children and babies, as well as in older adults with other health complications.
The virus is also highly contagious.
“Once you start to get viruses, they spread quickly in the community,” said Dr. Ryan Stanton, an emergency physician. “So we tend to see hotspots – whether it’s the flu, RSV – there’ll be hotspots around our states, around our community, especially larger cities, so you’ll see larger numbers. This year we are seeing earlier infection numbers, especially flu and RSV, but other infections as well.”
Health leaders urge people to be vigilant about washing hands and cleaning and sterilizing surfaces.