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What’s going around: RSV

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(WKOW) -- A virus with symptoms similar to a cold is showing up in clinics.

Because it is so contagious, at least one area hospital is restricting visitors.

Beginning Friday, Beginning Friday, Jan. 24, children under age 12 will not be allowed as visitors in the inpatient units at American Family Children's Hospital.

Dr. Dana Johnson, a pediatrician at UnityPoint Health - Meriter's McKee Clinic, said respiratory syncytial virus is common in young children and babies. It is very contagious.

Symptoms for younger people tend to have a heavy impact on the lungs. Children and babies may wheeze or have rapid, difficult breathing.

For older children and adults symptoms are not as severe and resemble a cold, Dr. Johnson said. They include the following:

  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Drainage
  • Low grade fever

Dr. Johnson said to treat RSV, you need plenty of rest. You can also use a cool mist vaporizer and/or over-the-counter fever reducing medicines. Keep hydrated, and consider a nasal saline and suction.

Dr. Johnson recommended getting medical attention right away if there's any difficulty breathing, dehydration or a blue tint on the lips or nails.

Caroline Bach

Anchor, 27 News at 11

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