How to protect yourself and kids against RSV

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 4:38 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) -RSV... If you think you’re hearing those three letters more than ever this year, you’re probably right.

TV5 spoke with a local physician to learn more about the virus and how we can best protect our children.

“I don’t know that it’s unprecedented, but it’s close to unprecedented in most of our experience, and I’ve been practicing in critical care for 28 years,” said Dr. Jonathan Wood.

Dr. Jonathan Wood is the senior lead physician for pediatrics at Northern Light Eastern Maine medical center.

He says while RSV is traditionally a winter virus, they’ve started seeing summer hospitalizations over the past two years.

“We’ve had RSV at a time when we never have RSV in the history of RSV,” said Dr. Wood

Respiratory Syncytial virus, or RSV, can cause cold-like symptoms in adults, but Dr. Wood says the younger you are, the more issues it can create.

Infants, especially those with underlying health conditions, are most at risk.

“With the state that their lungs are in, and their ability to clear secretions and clear things, some of it is literally size,” said Dr. Wood.

He says the majority of kids with RSV never see the hospital, but even when they do, there’s no specific medicine doctors use to treat them.

“We help babies get themselves through it,” said Dr. Woods.

That involves keeping their nose clear and keeping them hydrated.

But to avoid sickness in the first place, Dr. Wood’s advice is familiar.

“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you wash your hands,” said Dr. Wood.

He also suggests masking around your kids if you’re not feeling well.

And, if you think your child might have RSV, call your pediatrician for more guidance.

“There are bad years. Some years are worse than others. And yes, this is a pretty, pretty bad year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be handled,” said Dr. Woods