New York among 32 states with spike in tough respiratory virus

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New York is among 32 states seeing a spike in RSV, respiratory syncytial virus. The common respiratory virus can make kids, and some adults, very sick.

Doctors are concerned because the virus is showing up much earlier than usual this year. Hospital beds are already filling up.

Connecticut Children’s Hospital is so overwhelmed with cases of RSV, they’re considering setting up a tent on the lawn to treat more patients. They’re also thinking of calling in the National Guard.

RSV usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. However, babies and older adults may develop severe infections, like pneumonia – because their lungs are not strong.

Among them, 10-month-old Jamie Howard of Knox, a patient at Albany Medical Center.

Jamie started getting congested Saturday. Monday he had a fever. By Tuesday, his mom, Kaylla Howard, says he had labored breathing and a high temperature. She took him to urgent care. They suggested she take him to the hospital.

They waited eight hours in the emergency room at Albany Med, another 10 hours for a bed.
Kaylla Howard says the doctor put a feeding tube in Jamie on Friday.

He can’t have anything by mouth quite yet, because he needs a constant, high flow of oxygen.

Symptoms of RSV are often indistinguishable from things like colds, the flu and coronavirus.

Like COVID, RSV can be diagnosed through antigen or PCR test.

The CDC says people typically show symptoms within four to six days after becoming infected.

Symptoms include runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever, wheezing and a decrease in appetite.
The symptoms appear in stages and don’t hit all at once.

  • Much of what the CDC has to say on prevention is familiar.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Don’t share cups and eating utensils.

Hear about Jamie’s prognosis with the virus by watching the video of Subrina Dhammi’s story.