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Doctors see increase in RSV cases during unusual time of year

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 8:30 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Dr. Josh Crabtree, the clinic vice president of Sanford in Sioux Falls, said staff is seeing an increase in RSV cases right now, which usually is seen seasonally during the fall and early winter months. The reason why more RSV cases are seen later in the year is because school is back in session, people are getting back together, and viruses spread more easily during those times.

The number of RSV cases for this time of year during the summer is unusual, but it’s not unexpected. Since most people have been apart for the last 15 months, Dr. Crabtree said Sanford saw a decline in RSV cases, common cold cases, and influenza, but as people got back together this summer, we’re now seeing an increase.

Many symptoms of RSV or a common cold can be similar to COVID-19 symptoms, like a fever, cough, or runny nose. Dr. Crabtree said as a parent, it’s best to call your doctor or pediatrician if your child has any symptoms and explain the situation. Providers can then help with any next steps that need to be taken.

The delta variant of COVID-19 is in South Dakota but not as prevalent as it is elsewhere in the country. Dr. Crabtree said health experts are calling this variant “the fittest and the fastest” because it’s easier to transmit. Instead of transmitting to 1 or 2 people like the original virus, someone with the delta variant can transmit it to 3 or 4 people. He said the delta variant isn’t necessarily causing more severe symptoms, but just different symptoms. At this point, it’s not more deadly, but people are still being hospitalized with it.

The positive news is that the available vaccines do provide protection against the variants as well.

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