Parents react to RSV cases on the rise in Minnesota

(ABC 6 News) – Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV cases are on the rise in the state of Minnesota.

“When it infects young children especially those under six months, but really kids under two years of age, it causes inflammation in the airways. And so it is the most common cause of something called bronchiolitis which is inflammation in the small airways in the lung as well as the most common cause of pneumonia in young kids,” said Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse of Mayo Clinic.

RSV is highly contagious. It infects the lungs and plugs up airways with mucus.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, cases have doubled since the last week of September. And over this last week hospitalizations have jumped from 70 to 120. 80 of those cases among kids one-year-old and under.

Monique said her grandson had RSV symptoms last week, and the family was worried it would spread to his younger sibling.

We try to keep him away from, well for sure we are trying to keep him away from the kids, but that’s very hard. When we’re in public places he’ll stay in his car seat, we don’t try to pass him around to different people,” said Roy.

Amy Martell says that after dealing COVID-19 since 2020 she’s taking precautions with her two kids, but she isn’t going to let it alter their lives. “I’m thankful to be outside at this park playing. I’m thankful that my kids are in school. So while I don’t want my kids to get RSV, I’m also, I just don’t have any fear left,” said Martell.

Julie Guerin, a mom and healthcare worker, says her kids are a little older. So, she isn’t too concerned, but says it’s good for parents no matter the age of their kids should be on alert.

“Just to be extra aware of signs that are above and beyond the normal cold symptoms. You know with RSV you’re think of the difficulty breathing, the wheezing and to bring in your child to get assets earlier than later because a lot of these kids do need early hospitalization,” said Guerin.

Medical professionals can test for RSV and give supportive treatment. But, there is no vaccination for it yet.

“Yes, there are things that can be done to help them get through it, but like most viruses it’s a matter of time,” said Guerin.

The best advice health care professionals have is to wash your hands, keep surfaces clean, and if you have an infant limit their contact with other people. Also, bring them in if they start to show symptoms.