*(Cody, Wyo.)* - Each year in the United States, an estimated 57,527 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to RSV infection. Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common virus. It can spread through coughing and sneezing. You can also get RSV by touching surfaces that have RSV on them, then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Healthy children usually experience mild, cold-like symptoms and recover on their own within a week or two. But RSV can cause severe lung infections, including bronchiolitis (infection of small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia. Each year in the United States, an estimated 57,527 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to RSV infection. *Those who have a higher risk for severe illness caused by RSV include:* - Premature babies - Children younger than 2 years old with chronic lung disease or certain heart problems - Adults 65 years and older - People with weakened immune systems, such as from HIV infection, organ transplants, or specific medical treatments like chemotherapy *Help Prevent the Spread of RSV - You can help protect yourself, your child, and others from RSV infection by following a few prevention tips:* - Wash your hands often - Keep your hands off your face - Avoid close contact with sick people - Cover your coughs and sneezes - Clean and disinfect surfaces - Stay home when you are sick Symptoms of RSV infection are similar to other respiratory infections. Illness usually begins 4 to 6 days after exposure (range: 2 to 8 days) with a runny nose and decrease in appetite. Coughing, sneezing, and fever typically develop 1 to 3 days later. Wheezing may also occur. In very young infants, irritability, decreased activity, and breathing difficulties may be the only symptoms of infection. Most otherwise healthy infants infected with RSV do not need to be hospitalized. In most cases, even among those who need to be hospitalized, hospitalization usually only lasts a few days, and full recovery from illness occurs in about 1 to 2 weeks. If any breathing difficulties develop or wheezing seek immediate medical care. This and more information can be found HERE
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