Pediatric Units See Rise in Respiratory Viruses

SPRINGFIELD — COVID-19 is not the only virus circulating. Across the country, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases are rising earlier than expected. Experts also predict a bad flu season based on the summer flu season that occurred in the southern hemisphere. Both viruses can impact young kids and older adults more severely.

According to the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, pediatric units in local hospitals are already seeing a spike as these viruses, as well as others, like enterovirus, gain transmission in the colder weather and COVID restrictions have eased. There is no RSV vaccine, but there is an annual flu vaccine that helps reduce the risk of influenza and its spread. Click here to learn more about the flu. Hand washing and staying home when sick are also good preventive practices.