Greene County hospitals experiencing surge in patients with respiratory illnesses

Infants and toddlers are more susceptible to RSV.
Infants and toddlers are more susceptible to RSV.(KY3)
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 7:26 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management is reporting that hospitals in Greene County are experiencing a surge in patients seeking treatment for respiratory illnesses.

According to a Facebook post, the surge is mostly among pediatric patients, many of which have Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). The Office of Emergency Management says to wash hands often, and as always stay home if you are sick to avoid the spread of respiratory illnesses.

What to do if you have a respiratory illness.
What to do if you have a respiratory illness.(KY3)

In October, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Mercy Springfield, CoxHealth, and Jordan Valley Community Health Center asked families to take precautions heading into cold and flu season.

RSV is a virus that typically causes cold-like symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • Runny nose.
  • Decrease in appetite.
  • Coughing.
  • Sneezing.
  • Fever.
  • Wheezing

While most people experience mild symptoms and recover within 1 to 2 weeks, children and older adults are at risk for severe illness and hospitalization. Children who are immunocompromised are at the highest risk for severe illness, including:

  • Premature infants.
  • Babies, especially those 6 months and younger.
  • Children younger than 2 years with chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease.
  • Children who have neuromuscular disorders, including genetic disorders that can cause difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus from the throat.

There is no vaccine or antiviral treatment for RSV. If you or your child is having difficulty breathing, not drinking enough fluids, or experiencing worsening symptoms, contact a healthcare provider immediately.

Families, especially those with children, can help prevent the spread of RSV and other respiratory illnesses.

  • Avoid close contact with people exhibiting cold-like symptoms.
  • Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching a child’s face with unwashed hands.

If you or your child has cold- or flu-like symptoms, you should:

  • Avoid contact with others, especially children and older adults who are at a high risk for severe illness.
  • Use a tissue or shirt sleeve to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, not your hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and continue proper handwashing.
  • Do not share food, beverages, or utensils with others.

Jordan Valley Community Health Center is available for sick kids needing a provider. The Express Care Clinic (618 N Benton) is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additionally, the Pediatrics clinic is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

More information about RSV and other seasonal illnesses can be found on the Health Department’s website. In addition to preventing the spread of RSV, the Health Department is urging the community to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations and to get their flu shot. Opportunities for both immunizations, including the updated COVID-19 booster shots, can be found at vaccine417.com.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com