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Potentially dangerous respiratory illnesses on the rise among mid-state children


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Doctors at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital warn they’re seeing an increase in respiratory illnesses among mid-state children.

The Vanderbilt warning follows a health alert issued earlier this month by the federal Centers for Disease Control. The CDC warned that it was seeing widespread reports of increased Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) activity “in parts of the Southern United States."

The CDC notes that RSV results in an average of 58,000 child hospitalizations each year in the U.S. In any given year, RSV can lead to the deaths of 100-500 children nationwide.

Vanderbilt says it's seeing a spike in cases of RSV, croup, parainfluenza, and bronchitis.

VU Doctors note the illnesses usually peak during the winter months in Middle Tennessee. They believe the current spike is the result of a relaxation of social distancing and mask use as the pandemic winds down.

Symptoms are usually mild, but Vanderbilt urges an immediate ER visit if your child exhibits any of the following respiratory symptoms: “fast breathing, belly breathing or noisy breathing (respiratory distress) or signs of lethargy.”

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