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Pediatric RSV cases on the rise in North Dakota

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North Dakota is seeing increased numbers of pediatric hospitalizations due to respiratory syncytial virus, more commonly known as RSV, state health officials say.

The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging broader testing for RSV among young children and older adults who have severe respiratory illness. 

The most common symptoms of RSV include runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing. RSV also can cause more severe infections such as bronchiolitis, inflammation of the small airways in the lung, and pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. Infants, young children and older adults with chronic medical conditions are at risk of severe disease.

The virus is spread primarily through respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, and through direct contact with a contaminated surface.

“Sanford Health Bismarck is seeing an earlier respiratory syncytial virus season in infants and young children,” said Dr. Christina DaSilva, a Sanford pediatrician. “If your child has difficulty breathing or there are any parental concerns, please contact your medical provider immediately.” 

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