North Texas Children Suffering from Dangerous Respiratory Virus

Children suffering from the potentially deadly respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, are filling up hospital beds in North Texas.

"RSV is a virus that causes a lot of high fevers, coughs and runny noses. And it actually can be pretty dangerous in little children," said Dr. Ray Tsai, president and chief medical officer of Children's Health Pediatric Group.

Children's Medical Center Plano reports half the beds there are taken by young patients with RSV.

"The most important thing that you can do for RSV is to suction their nose and to remove the mucus that’s in their nose," said Tsai. "That will help them breathe easier, and that will help them be able to drink and stay well hydrated."

Reducing their fevers is also important, the doctor said.

"What parents can do at home is to make sure that they give their children Tylenol or Motrin to control their fevers," said Tsai.

The recent spike could mean the peak flu season isn't far behind, because the germs are spread in similar fashion.

"People may not be washing their hands," said Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services. "That may contribute later on to our flu cases going up."

There's still time to get a flu shot, but there is no vaccine for RSV.

The precautions are the same for both: washing hands and covering coughs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on its website about RSV.

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