Ravalli County Public Health is seeing an outbreak of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) a seasonal respiratory virus that is highly contagious and mostly affects children.
The county public health department is following up on 13 reported cases of RSV linked to daycare, all in children under 3 years of age with some requiring hospitalization.
RSV is a common virus that usually causes cold like symptoms: runny nose, cough, congestion and low grade fever.
Most children will have mild symptoms that can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. However, RSV can become more serious leading to bronchiolitis and/or pneumonia, which could require hospitalization due to difficulty breathing or dehydration.
Children most at risk for exposure to RSV are children that attend daycare or school or children with older sibling that attend school or daycare.
The public health department is advising parents to be aware of the local increase in RSV infections by:
• Monitoring children for symptoms: fever, cough, congestion or earache.
• Watching for signs of a more serious lung infections: increased breathing effort, faster breathing, apnea (long pauses in breathing) or wheezing
• Infants may show decrease in appetite or difficulty feeding
• Monitoring for signs of dehydration: dry or sticky mouth, less frequent wet diapers
• Seeking medical care for any signs of serious lung infection or dehydration.
Most children with RSV are infectious for 3 to 8 days. Parents are encouraged to keep sick children home.
Children are safe to return to childcare once they are feeling better (eating, playing and sleeping normally) and no fever for 24 hours. Parents are encouraged to clean all toys and bedding and disinfect all high touch surfaces. Encourage all other household member and anyone else visiting to frequently wash hands, especially before touching baby.
Parents can find more information by visiting: