Rexburg, ID – Officials from Madison Memorial Hospital wish to alert Madison County and the surrounding communities that Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) season has arrived. According to Doug McBride, Public Relations Director at Madison, “The hospital has currently confirmed four RSV cases with two being hospitalized and Public Health reports positive RSV cases throughout Eastern Idaho”. Visitors who have any signs and/or symptoms of upper respiratory illness are requested to strongly consider not visiting patients. Signs or symptoms to look for are, but not limited to: cough, sneezing, runny nose, aches, fever, and sore throat. Children under the age of 18 will not be allowed to visit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) during RSV season. Signs are being posted throughout the hospital. We ask that all patrons be conscientious of this visiting restriction.
“We are doing this to keep not only our precious newborn patients safe from RSV, but because there is an increase in the number of elderly persons who are showing similar signs and symptoms as well,” says LuAnn Dixon, Infection Preventionist at Madison Memorial Hospital. “Both populations have immune systems that are compromised; they are more susceptible and need everyone’s help to keep them safe, including visitors.”
RSV is highly contagious and can be spread through droplets containing the virus when someone coughs or sneezes. It also can live on surfaces (such as countertops or doorknobs) and on hands and clothing, so it can be easily spread when a person touches something contaminated. RSV can spread rapidly through schools and childcare centers. Babies often get it when older kids carry the virus home from school and pass it to them.
RSV Symptoms: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes infection of the lungs and breathing passages, is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. In adults, it may only produce symptoms of a common cold, such as a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, mild headache, cough, fever, and a general feeling of being ill. In premature babies and kids with diseases that affect the lungs, heart, or immune system, RSV infections can lead to other more serious illnesses and even death.
RSV Prevention: Since RSV is easily spread by touching infected people or surfaces, the key to prevention is frequent hand washing and proper hand hygiene. Make sure to wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer after having any contact with someone who has cold symptoms. Be alert to keeping school-age children with cold symptoms away from younger siblings — particularly infants — until the symptoms pass. Keep infants and young children at home if ill, and away from public places where the virus may be easily transmitted from one person to another.