Jacksonville, Fla.-- A virus that usually attacks young children's immune systems is increasing in Florida.
It's a virus that really affects kids and it's starting to show more here in Florida. The Centers for Disease Control is reporting more than ten percent of the people tested are positive for the virus and that means more visits to the doctors office.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV is commonly found in infants and premature babies. According to the CDC, RSV is already reaching high levels in Florida. Peditrician Dr. Mobeen Rathore says parents need to pay close attention. "You can't tell in most cases if it's a regular cold or RSV," said Dr. Rathore.
Here are a few facts about the virus. It can be more serious for premature infants, because their lungs aren't as developed. It has similar symptoms to a cold and it accounts for one in ten visits to the pediatrician. "If you have other chronic underlying heart conditions, like heart disease, you could be at risk for complicated RSV," said Dr. Rathore.
There really aren't any medications you can give children to get rid of RSV. It has to run its course, and get out of the system. That usually takes up to two weeks. According to the CDC each year, 75,000 to 125,000 children in this age group are hospitalized due to RSV infection.