RSV cases on the rise, local doctor talks symptoms and treatments


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Dr. Jennifer Tibbens-Scalzo with Rochester Regional Health says recently, there’s been a spike in local cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, an upper respiratory infection. 

“That is very common this time of year, fall, winter months are when this virus becomes far more prevalent,” she says.

RSV spreads by sneezing, inhaling droplets in the air, or saliva. “And it infects our airways, the respiratory tract,” adds Scalzo.

The CDC says most people recover in a week or two — but it can be serious, especially for infants and older adults. It’s the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in kids younger than one-year-old. 

“Particularly with this virus compared to others, there’s more likely to be a respiratory component, some more coughs, shortness of breath,” she says.

RSV has symptoms similar to COVID-19. Scalzo says to be sure, it might be a good idea to get tested for safety. 

“So when in doubt it’s better to see somebody to be sure…” she says.

Scalzo says RSV does go away on its own — with symptomatic treatment. “Rest, hydration, fever-reducing medicines if needed,” she says.

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