CDC issues warning about RSV spreading in several states, including Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning residents across several states, including Oklahoma, about the growing threat of a respiratory illness.

On Thursday, the CDC issued a health advisory to notify doctors about a jump in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity in several states across the southern United States.

Since late March, the CDC has noted a rise in RSV infections in the following areas:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas.

RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age in the U.S. It can also cause severe disease in people with chronic medical conditions.

Each year in the United States, RSV leads to around 58,000 hospitalizations with 100 to 500 deaths among children youngers than 5-years-old. It is also responsible for 177,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths among adults 65 and over.

RSV is mainly spread via respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, or through direct contact with a contaminated surface.

Symptoms in infants younger than six-months are as follows:

  • irritability
  • poor feeding
  • lethargy
  • apnea with or without fever.

Symptoms in older infants and young children include:

  • rhinorrhea
  • decreased appetite may appear one to three days before cough
  • sneezing
  • fever
  • wheezing.

Symptoms in adults are typically consistent with upper respiratory tract infections, including rhinorrhea, pharyngitis, cough, headache, fatigue, and fever.

At this point, the CDC is encouraging doctors to complete broader testing for RSV for patients with acute respiratory illness who test negative for COVID-19.

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