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Doctors Say RSV More Severe In 2011

By Marianne Martinez, CBS 11 News
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IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – Seven-month-old Rider Mathine is usually a happy baby.

“If he’s fussy, I know something’s wrong,” said his mother Ricki.

Rider’s symptoms got worse and Ricki knew it was more than a common cold.

“He was coughing a lot, had a runny nose, was really congested and wheezy,” she said.


Rider was diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus.  RSV is one of the most common respiratory infections in children, and can cause problems breathing.

“He’s in daycare, but none of the other babies got it or had it so I’m not exactly sure where he picked it up,” Ricki said.

Diagnosing RSV is simple.  Nurses perform a simple swab test, and results are available within 15 minutes.  However, it can take days for a child to recover and doctors say there is no cure.

“There’s no magic bullet. When kids get RSV, this bad cold can last two or three weeks,” said Dr. Michelle Fower, a pediatrician at Baylor Irving.

Dr. Fower has not seen an increase in the number of RSV cases in her practice, but she said the cases seem to be more severe this season.

“I had a few more kids that I had to hospitalize for RSV,” Dr. Fower said.

The disease is also very contagious.  To prevent the spread of the disease, Dr. Fower recommends children with symptoms to stay home, and practice frequent hand washing.

While anyone can contract RSV, Dr. Fower said it’s particularly hard on children younger than one year old.

“It really affects kids who are premature, who have other illnesses and kids who are really young,” she said.

As for baby Rider, he got over RSV after a week, but Ricki said he’s sick again with a different virus.

“Pretty typical of winter weather,” she said.

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