Other respiratory viruses circulating in Mesa County

In addition to COVID-19, Mesa County Public Health is concerned about the rise of another virus
Other Respiratory Viruses Circulating in Mesa County
Other Respiratory Viruses Circulating in Mesa County(Mesa County Public Health)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 12:28 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Mesa County Public Health is warning residents about the increase of COVID-19 and other viruses present in the county.

In addition to COVID-19 and influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus is another virus circulating through Mesa County. RSV is a common respiratory virus that will generally cause mild, cold-like symptoms. Typically, RSV cases are most common during the cooler months from Jan. to April.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there has been an unusual number of early cases reported in Children’s Hospital Colorado. State health experts are concerned the rise of virus cases will put a significant strain on the pediatric healthcare system.

MCPH is responsible for monitoring outbreaks of RSV in childcares, educational, and living facilities to ensure the protocols for a healthy environment are maintained. MCPH says they are aware of an increased illness in at least two childcare facilities due to RSV.

RSV is spread easily through fluids of the mouth and nose. The virus can also live on surfaces and objects for hours.

RSV can cause severe infection in some people. Babies 12 months and younger (infants), premature infants, older adults, people with heart and lung disease, or immunocompromised individuals are more at risk for severe infection.

In adults and older, healthy children, RSV symptoms are generally mild and mimic the common cold.

RSV symptoms generally appear after four to six days after exposure and can include:

  • Congested or runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Headache

MCPH recommends the following procedures be taken:

  • Parents and caregivers should keep all children with cold-like symptoms out of childcare and school settings, even if they test negative for COVID-19.
  • Stay home from work if you are feeling sick, particularly if you work in the healthcare, childcare, education, and long-term care industries.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Cover coughs or sneezes using your elbow instead of your hand when a tissue is not available.
  • If you have a negative COVID-19 test, seek additional support from a primary care provider to see if you have another virus like influenza or RSV.
  • Consider a COVID-19 and a flu vaccine to protect against severe illness and hospitalization.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, tables, handrails, and toys.
  • Encourage and practice hand hygiene at home, school, and work. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub when soap and water is not readily available.

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