A CDC health alert issued recently suggests Georgia leads the Southeast in the rising number of cases of the children’s respiratory virus called RSV and Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is reporting an uptick in reported cases.
Georgia News Network reports hospitalizations for Georgia infants and kids under 4 are up from 2-hospitalizations per 100,000 for the week ending August 7 to 7-hospitalizations per 100,000 for the week ending August 19.
Supriya Mannepalli, MD, director of infectious disease at NGHS says of RSV locally “We’re monitoring the RSV positivity rate in our area closely, as we’ve seen an increase in recent weeks, to see if things return to the…traditional trend or continue to vary.”
Last week, NGHS had a 1.85% “positivity” rate , which was up from 0.99% the week before.
“It’s a relatively low rate across our system,” Dr. Mannepalli said, “but it’s still something we’re keeping an eye on.”
RSV can cause severe illness, especially in infants, young children and older adults.
“So, it’s important to follow good hygiene,” she said. “Always cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands and be responsible when you are sick or feel sick.”
The CDC recommends a new RSV immunization this Fall to protect all infants under 8 months and some older babies at higher risk of RSV.
Not sure exactly what RSV is? Click here to find out https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/index.html#:~:text=Respiratory%20syncytial%20(sin%2DSISH%2D,severe%20RSV%20and%20need%20hospitalization