Columbus, OH,
15:26 PM

OhioHealth Medical Minute: RSV

From celebrity parents, to those around the country, to those here in central Ohio, RSV is causing severe problems.  Comedian and actress Amy Schumer shared that her son, Gene, was in the emergency department this week with RSV.

“This was the hardest week of my life,” wrote Schumer in an Instagram post.  “Shout out to all the parents going through this right now.”

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract. It's so common that most children have been infected with the virus by age 2. Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-ul) virus can also infect adults.

In adults and older, healthy children, RSV symptoms are mild and typically mimic the common cold. Self-care measures are usually all that's needed to relieve any discomfort.

RSV can cause severe infection in some people, including babies 12 months and younger (infants), especially premature infants, older adults, people with heart and lung disease, or anyone with a weak immune system (immunocompromised).

Ben Bring, DO, is the program director of the Family Practice Residency at OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital.  He says his office, and emergency departments are seeing a wave of children suffering.

“We are in the heart of RSV season, so we are recommending good hand washing, and hand hygiene,” Dr. Bring said.

One of the toughest things about RSV is treatment.  

“The biggest treatment is supportive care,” Dr. Bring said. “Pfizer is working on a vaccine for expectant mothers to give immunity to their newborns."

Dr. Bring says you should monitor your child's breathing.  If they are struggling to breathe or spiking fever, you should visitor a clinic or emergency department.