What You Need To Know: Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Doctors warn of RSV as peak season approaches

The peak season of a respiratory virus that affects mostly children is almost upon us, and doctors want parents to be aware its symptoms.

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The peak season RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is January through March.

The virus starts out with mild symptoms that usually resolve after a week or two, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These symptoms include a runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, sneezing, low grade fever, headaches or decreased appetite, Forbes reported.

Most children come down with RSV by age 2, according to the CDC.

But for those with weakened immune systems, like young children or the elderly, RSV can develop into a more severe condition, like bronchitis or pneumonia. Anyone who experiences a cough so severe that it interferes with sleeping, eating and drinking should contact a doctor. Parents should watch for signs of difficulty breathing in young children, according to the CDC.

To prevent RSV, the CDC recommends avoiding close contact with sick people, washing hands often with soap and water, avoiding touching children's faces with unwashed hands and limiting the time children spend in child care centers.

Researchers are currently developing a vaccine for RSV, but none are available yet.

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