WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - RSV has been spreading across North Texas so health care professionals are warning parents about the symptoms and dangers of the virus.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus shows up in late fall and peaks during the winter months.
Sandy Cadena is the owner of the daycare Sandy’s Little Darlings. She knows all to well how contagious the virus can be, because her granddaughter caught it when she was an infant.
“One child who came in sick – parent brought her in sick. The child coughed on my granddaughter and she got real sick,” Sandy said.
After battling RSV as an infant, Bella is now a healthy nine-year-old who enjoys reading to the children at her grandmother’s daycare.
Cadena said because of her years of experience taking care of babies, toddlers, and her granddaughter, she knows firsthand how scary the virus can be.
She remembers, “We did everything the doctor told us to do to help her – keep her hydrated you know. We gave her Pedialyte. I kept her upright, so she wouldn’t choke.” The symptoms include coughing, wheezing, decreased appetite, runny nose, and sometimes a fever.
Epidemiologist Tiffany Torres says RSV can easily be confused with the common cold.
Torres said, “They mimic the symptoms of a cold. RSV is actually quite common. Most children will have RSV by their second birthday.”
While common, the danger is that RSV can lead to other respiratory problems.
“RSV can cause complications in infants. They can cause other complications that are similar to Pneumonia and Bronchiolitis,” Torres added.
Cardena teaches her granddaughter and 5 other daycare children about germs and what they need to do to keep from spreading them.
Her granddaughter said, “She tells me to wash my hands before I eat because if I don’t wash my hands then I’m going to get sick.”
Along with encouraging handwashing, Cardena sanitizes the tables and toys repeatedly throughout the day. She especially gives attention to the floors because she said that is where the kids love to play.
If they are sick, then she tells their parents to keep them home.
Cardena also makes sure she does not spread anything to her kids by going to the doctor right away if she feels she is coming down with something, and by staying on top of her immunizations.
Cardena said, “I have to stay healthy because people are depending on me.”