Okeechobee County had increase in cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) this month, according to the Florida Department of Health.
RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Young children and older adults, especially those with certain underlying health conditions, are at higher risk for severe illness from RSV.
Florida’s RSV season is longer than the rest of the nation and has distinct regional patterns.
In 2023, two vaccines (Arexvy and Abrysvo) and a monoclonal antibody (nirsevimab) were approved for the prevention of RSV related illness. FDOH recommends individuals consult with their health care providers to find out if vaccination is recommended for them,
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), People infected with RSV usually show symptoms within four to six days after getting infected. Symptoms of RSV infection usually include:
Most RSV infections go away on their own in a week or two. However, RSV can cause severe illness in some people.
Take steps to relieve symptoms:
According to the CDC, RSV can spread in these ways:
People are typically infected with RSV for the first time as an infant or toddler and nearly all children are infected before their second birthday. However, repeat infections may occur throughout life, and people of any age can be infected.
People infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days and may become contagious a day or two before they start showing signs of illness. However, some infants, and people with weakened immune systems, can continue to spread the virus even after they stop showing symptoms, for as long as 4 weeks. Children are often exposed to and infected with RSV outside the home, such as in school or childcare centers. They can then transmit the virus to other members of the family.
RSV can survive for many hours on hard surfaces such as tables and crib rails. It typically lives on soft surfaces such as tissues and hands for shorter amounts of time.
You can take everyday prevention measures to help reduce the spread of RSV and other respiratory illnesses.
Information for this article came from the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.