Rise in RSV cases reported in Southeast during offseason, CDC says

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Monday, August 2, 2021
Rise in RSV cases in Southeast during offseason: CDC
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The CDC is warning of a rise in RSV cases in the Southeast US during the virus's offseason.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The CDC is warning of a rise in RSV cases in the Southeast in the offseason.

Some children finding themselves sitting out portions of the summer because viruses are flaring up.

Three-year-old Madden Lorch is feeling like himself and playing in parks again after getting sick a few weeks ago.

"He had the sore throat, running nose," said mom Brittany Lorch.

She was surprised Madden, as well as his baby brother, caught a respiratory virus in the middle of summer.

"When he woke up with the croupy cough, 'cause he normally gets it in the winter, I was like, 'really?'" said Lorch.

Duke Health Pediatrician Dr. Tony Moody said there's been a spike of cases among children.

"A lot of the things that would have happened back in January, February just didn't," said Moody. "We've seen a spike in RSV, in parainfluenza - things that typically would have already happened this year."


The most common symptoms of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection are runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing.

The symptoms can be similar to COVID-19, and Moody says there's really only one way to decipher.

"They all look the same. You have to test," he said.


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

People infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days, according to the CDC but some infants, and people with weakened immune systems, can continue to spread the virus even after they stop showing symptoms, for as long as 4 weeks. Children are often exposed to and infected with RSV outside the home, such as in school or child-care centers. They can then transmit the virus to other members of the family.

Some parents said they're just going to continue doing what they can to keep the little ones healthy.

"Washing our hands, taking our vitamins," said parent Jen Rigg.

ABC11 did try to pull numbers on how many RSV cases there are right now in the state. State officials aren't tracking the cases because it's technically the offseason for the virus.