AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Doctors say it's looking like one of the worst years for RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus.
"It can be a dangerous illness for premature babies, babies will lung disease and babies with immune issues," said Doctor Mariada George with Panhandle Pediatrics. "Those are the babies you really want to be careful around."
Many Amarillo doctors are seeing more cases of RSV this winter. The spike in cases is keeping Dr. George on her toes.
"This is the time when it comes," said George. "I will screen a child kind if I think a they look like they might be RSV because there's some things later on that we may need to watch for."
RSV is similar to having a cold, in fact you have some of the same symptoms but those symptoms just get worse. Babies with RSV will have collapsed air waves where they struggle to breath. They're congested with mucus and are constantly wheezing.
Dr. George says that's when it's time to head to the doctor.
"It's hard to tell in a small child where the noise is coming from,"said George. "It sounds like they're just full of snot but it can difficult without a stethoscope and the experience to know if it's coming from the head or the lungs."
Because it is a virus, treatment options are limited but luckily the likelihood of being hospitalized is low. The best thing any parent can do is keep the child propped up and use ointments on the chest and nose.
Before you use any type of home remedies, always check with your pediatrician first. If you have a sick child, it's very important to always wash your hands.