RSV increases in Oklahoma

Tuesday, December 6th 2005, 10:33 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ State health officials are reporting an increase in respiratory viruses in Oklahoma this year.

The state Health Department's diseases surveillance network says the number of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) cases is rising.

RSV is similar to the flu and especially affects the very young and the very old. It's the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 1.

RSV is spread through coughing and sneezing and symptoms in most people are similar to a cold. But in young children, the elderly and people with heart or lung diseases the symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, pneumonia and can lead to death.

An estimated 170 adults and two children die in Oklahoma each year from RSV.

Health officials say the spread of RSV can be limited when people wash their hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes and stay home from work or school when sick.