Respiratory virus spreads among infants in Vegas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Respiratory virus spreads among infants in Vegas

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Illustration showing how RSV affects an infant airway Illustration showing how RSV affects an infant airway

If you think your infant child has a bad cold, you might want to get a second opinion. Pediatricians are seeing a wave of RSV. If you don't know what that is, it's very common among young children and can be serious if left untreated.

Dr. Ishtiaq Chowdhry sees plenty of young patients every day as a pediatrician at Southwest Medical Associates.

It is still cold and flu season after all, but there is another virus going around among babies and infants that peaks in the fall and late winter months.

"We see a lot of kids," Chowdhry said. "They come to us, they have a runny nose, they're coughing, they're wheezing, they have a fever…"

It's called Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV.

The airway becomes constricted due to the virus, and it's common enough that most infants have had this infection by age 2.

Some kids can get by with minor medical care, while others require breathing treatments with a nebulizer every four hours.

"It started with her coughing," said Natalie Anguay, whose had trouble getting her 5-month-old girl, Sophia, to recover from RSV.

"The cough started to get worse where it sounded like she was congested in her throat, and if you would hold her, you could feel her chest rattle," Anguay said.

Chowdhry told FOX5 he sees twice as many kids with RSV than the flu, and infants younger than 1 are most at risk. Ten percent of cases end up in the emergency room, and some can advance to pneumonia.

"This is the peak season," Chowdhry said. "We see a lot of kids that come and we test it, and within a few hours, we find out if they are positive or negative."

There's good news for parents - most cases of RSV only last one to two weeks.

Chowdhry says children who are born premature or already have a chronic lung disease are more likely to get RSV.

Adults can also catch the virus but rarely show severe symptoms.

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