Flint doctor gives tips on how parents can protect kids from RSV

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 1:02 AM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - As families and friends gather for the Thanksgiving holiday one uninvited guest could be in attendance: Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV.

“Snotty nosed kids that are kind of rubbing their nose and then hugging grandma and grandpa. That’s kind of a risk there,” says Flint physician, Dr. Bobby Mukkamala.

Doctors are warning parents to keep their kids home if they’re not feeling well.

“If somebody’s got a snotty nose, or sneezing, or coughing, don’t go to the party. Or if you’re going to be at the party, distance, and at least wear a mask,” says Dr. Mukkamala.

With RSV being so easily spread, the surge of children hospitalized with the virus has overwhelmed many pediatric wards; but Dr. Mukkamala says the virus is more deadly for vulnerable adults.

“The most people that die from this are the elderly, those over 75 years of age. Of course, that’s exactly who’s going to be coming to the Thanksgiving dinner,” he says.

Those infected with RSV can be more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections at a time when some first-line antibiotics are in short supply. Dr. Mukkamala says the best defense against any surge is to sanitize your hands after you wipe your nose, sneeze or cough.

Along with RSV, COVID and the flu are also expected to surge this winter.