September 9, 2021 1:01 PM
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Outbreak
(September 9, 2021) – San Miguel County Public Health has identified eight interrelated cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) among six infants and two toddlers in the last week.
Two infants were hospitalized over the weekend and all symptomatic children have been treated and directed to isolate with their families. (September 9, 2021) – San Miguel County, CO --- San Miguel County Public Health has identified eight interrelated cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) among six infants and two toddlers in the last week. Two infants were hospitalized over the weekend and all symptomatic children have been treated and directed to isolate with their families. The outbreak occurred at a local childcare facility which is working diligently to disinfect the respective classrooms which will be closed until Monday, September 13.
Additionally, in a rare case, a middle school student tested positive for RSV this week.
“COVID cases amongst unvaccinated people continue to overwhelm our healthcare system making it increasingly difficult for people with illnesses like RSV to receive the urgent care they need,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “The recent COVID surge is deeply affecting our local frontline resources and capacity at regional hospitals.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), RSV, while treatable, can be dangerous for some infants and young children. Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to RSV infection. Those at greatest risk for severe illness from RSV include:
• Premature infants
• Very young infants, especially those 6 months and younger
• Children younger than 2 years old with chronic lung disease or congenital (present from birth) heart disease
• Children with weakened immune systems
• Children who have neuromuscular disorders, including those who have difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus secretions
People infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days. RSV can spread when:
• An infected person coughs or sneezes
• You get virus droplets from a cough or sneeze in your eyes, nose, or mouth
• You touch a surface that has the virus on it, like a doorknob, and then touch your face before washing your hands
• You have direct contact with the virus, like kissing the face of a child with RSV
“RSV cases are presenting with potentially more severe illness outside of the typical RSV season (Oct-May). We are recommending that all symptomatic children and infants remain out of childcare settings until completely symptom free,” said Influenza and RSV Surveillance Supervisor Elizabeth Austin, MPH, of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We recommend that parents have a low threshold for deciding when to bring their child to a healthcare provider and to follow provider testing recommendations for SARS CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens. A negative test for SARS CoV-2 doesn't necessarily rule out a positive test for RSV, while a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 should not be used to rule out co-infection with other respiratory viruses."
People infected with RSV usually show symptoms within 4 to 6 days after getting infected. Symptoms of RSV infection usually include:
• Runny nose
• Decrease in appetite
These symptoms usually appear in stages and not all at once. In very young infants with RSV, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and breathing difficulties. If you or somebody you know has symptoms of RSV, please stay home and contact your primary care physician right away.