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Pediatricians see unseasonal spike in RSV cases across southern US

It's a trend being seen across the south, but it's the timing that's catching parents and pediatricians off guard.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Respiratory Syncytial Virus is on the rise in Southeast Texas, and it’s landing children in the doctor's office in this summer.

It's a trend being seen across the south, but it's the timing that's catching parents and pediatricians off guard.

“Seven to eight cases of RSV today in one day and I'm really admitting almost every day,” said Beaumont Pediatrician Dr. Ramona Ataya Dakour.

They typically see the virus in the fall and winter.  It's an unseasonal surge of winter viruses brings on new territory for pediatricians.

“I'm used to seeing RSV. I'm just not used to seeing it, this time of year,” Dakour said.

Parents with children like Kimberly Robinson are nervous.

“Last night and this morning, he started coughing a ton and just tons of running nose,” Robinson said.

A trip to Dakour's office turned into a positive test result of RSV for 2-year-year old Brady.

“Well, thankfully for us, he's in the age group that we don't have to worry about anything more like infants. It's very scary,” Robinson said.

More than 40 percent of children who've been tested for the virus have turned out to be positive. That's 10 times as high as the typical infection rate in the winter, and this is extremely dangerous for infants.

“Babies under a year old tend to have a more severe illnesses, and so those are the babies,” Dakour said. “Those are the kids we really need to watch out for and what we're seeing a lot of in the hospital.”

So, what should adults do to help slow the spread? If you come down with a minor cold, be careful.

“Stay away from little kids,” Dakour said. “Stay away from babies, because they're the ones who, if they catch it, will be more severely affected.”

Parents, if your child is showing symptoms of RSV, including a runny nose, coughing, or sneezing, you’re advised to go to the doctor.

“Let your pediatrician take a look at your baby and make sure they're not in any distress because there are things we can see that maybe you won't notice,” Dakour said.

As for the Robinsons, they'll be doing their best to protect their health.

“We're gonna load our kids up on Vitamin C, Vitamin D and zinc,” Robinson said.

Dakour said it doesn't stop at the RSV. They're still bracing for flu season. Masks help fight all of these things.

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