Potentially Deadly Virus Hits Amarillo

The RSV virus has local parents taking their infants to the doctor's office and to the hospital at a rapid rate and it is the leading cause of hospitalization for infants.

The virus invades the lining of the airways, causing inflammation and an increased production of mucus. This makes it difficult for infants to breathe and can cause sleep apnea.

RSV usually shows up in the late fall and hits its peak in December but it has been just in the last two to three weeks local infants are coming down with it.

New mom Bobbi Clark's 6 month old son Caisen is one of them.

"He wasn't sleeping very well, coughing, it was almost a gargle sound, wheezing, and when he would breathe it was loud and almost heavy. Probably one of the scariest moments in my life."

Caisen's cold like symptoms are the most common signs of RSV.

Local Health Authority Dr. Todd Bell says"If your child is having difficulty breathing they have a snotty nose, this time of year we all think of RSV and maybe they should be evaluated by their physician."

Because there is no cure for rsv parents must allow the virus to run its course.

Pediatrician Dr. Rex Fletcher says, "Alot of humidified air to help with the secretions. Watch for labored breathing, and lack of feeding then medical attention probably needs to be warded."

Children between two to seven months old, and infants born prematurely tend to have the most problems with RSV.

Doctor Fletcher says almost every child gets the RSV virus by age two.