CDC warns of rise in RSV in Arkansas; local impact of virus

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SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The CDC is reporting a rise in RSV cases since March of this year, pointing to Arkansas specifically as an area of concern.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that impacts young children the hardest.

Chief Medical Officer at Children’s Hospital Northwest, Dr. Robert Williams said over the last few months the majority of the children the hospital is seeing right now are either RSV patients or ones with other respiratory viruses.

Elaine Booth’s son is just under a year old and was just released from Children’s Northwest last week after getting RSV.

Elaine Booth’s son

I’ve never experienced being in the hospital with any of my children, so this was a first for us and it was very scary just seeing him hooked up to tubes and oxygen. To take breaths, he had to use his entire body and you could see his chest retracting just to take a breath, and that was pretty scary.”

ELAINE BOOTH, SON JUST RECOVERED FROM RSV

Dr. Williams said this virus is typically seen during the winter months, making this summertime spike unusual.

But, the timing of this may directly correlate with COVID-19 guidelines loosening.

“I believe that social distancing, masking, hand washing, -the normal hygiene stuff that CDC and Arkansas Department of Health have been pushing over the last year have been very effective,” Dr. Williams said.

Booth said she believes her son could have gotten RSV at daycare and with the virus spreading, she encourages you to take it seriously if your child is sick.

“You can’t control everything, but you can definitely control more hand washing, more precautions, keeping your kids home from school or from daycare if they’re sick,” she said.

According to the CDC, there are some symptoms of RSV that you can look out for:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing and sneezing

Typically, kids infected will show signs within four to six days.

Babies with RSV only show symptoms of irritability, decreased activity and breathing difficulties.

RSV can cause pneumonia or even death for some infants.


Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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