Health

Doctors warning about new virus that spreads like a cold

Doctors warning about new virus that spreads like a cold
Cutout Photo: Ryan Boren / CC BY 2.0 (MGN)

Doctors are warning parents about how you could be spreading more than a cold at family gatherings and holiday parties.

They are warning about RSV, a respiratory virus most commonly found in infants and children but adults are susceptible to it as well.

Christine Peroy, Emergency Department Fusion & Medical Director said, "I really want to caution people that this is the time of year that it is imperative that we keep really good hand washing and keep hands to ourselves."

RSV comes around more in the winter and early spring months and most cases involve young kids in daycare or grade school, however, Peroy says adults can catch the virus as well.

"It's more concerning for small children and elders because their airways are much smaller and their immune systems seem to be compromised do to age or incomplete immunizations," Peroy said.

The virus is spread the same way between all age groups through kissing, hugging, and touching doorknobs that can be contaminated.

"If people were to cough or sneeze on you, direct secretions from the nasal passages for example," said Peroy about how you can get RSV. She added that it is a self-limiting disease which means no particular antibiotic or anti medication can take it away.

"The virus usually lasts 6-8 days and one can start to show symptoms as soon as 4-6 days after encountering the virus."

Signs of RSV usually go away on their own, but infants under the age of 6 months may have to be hospitalized if their oxygen levels are too low.

Peroy said, "We recommend definitely when you start to show signs or symptoms of increased nasal secretions, fever, cough, (or) not eating well, that you seek attention from a medical provider to see if RSV is what we're dealing with."

And you should always see a doctor before taking any medication.