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Local hospitals see respiratory virus surge


As the nation heads into the holiday season, hospitals are dealing with the impact of a surge of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The current surge comes as influenza reaches the peak of its season and Covid-19 continues to persist.

RSV is a virus that affects the breathing passages and the lungs, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While many people experience cold-like symptoms and recover within two weeks, it can become serious.

Dr. David H. Priest of Novant Health said in a press briefing that RSV is particularly dangerous among young children, with 80-85% of children in pediatric inpatients being treated for the virus.

Other at-risk groups include people over the age of 65, people with preexisting conditions that affect their heart and lungs, and people with other preexisting conditions like diabetes.

The flu, Covid-19, and RSV share similar symptoms, such as fever, coughing, and sneezing. Priest said it could be “very difficult” for a person to tell which of the three viral diseases they may have, especially if they have all three diseases at one time.


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