RSV cases increasing this time of year

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Doctors say the symptoms of RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, are a lot like the common cold- a runny nose, a loss of appetite and coughing.

What people need to watch out for, and what can be dangerous for very young children and much older adults, is wheezing or difficulty breathing.

"Well, RSV is a virus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is more commonly associated with pneumonia in infants and children, but it can be occasionally associated with pneumonia in adults, particularly in those that are more susceptible, that have chronic lung disease, that are older," said Dr. Alex Tzouanakis with Baptist Health.

Doctors at Baptist Health Lexington say the spike we're seeing in RSV cases is normal this time of year.

Doctors at UK HealthCare are seeing the same.

Earlier this month, UK HealthCare was averaging 5 to 15 positive RSV lab tests a day.

That number has since decreased, replaced by flu cases.

RSV is much worse for adults with already compromised immune systems.

"COPD, asthma basically, other types of chronic lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, anything that would make you more susceptible to an infection which is what this is," said Dr. Tzouanakis.

Doctors are recommending you wash hands frequently, disinfect doorknobs and cellphones and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent the spread of RSV.