AUSTIN (KXAN) — Baylor Scott & White doctors are noticing a spike in Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV. They say cases are up and have seen the trend increasing for the past three weeks.

“I am not sure why we are seeing it earlier this year,” Dr. Emily Fisher said, a pediatrician at Baylor Scott & White. “It’s not uncommon during this time.”

The symptoms are similar to a cold including:

  • cough
  • stuffy or running nose
  • mild sore throat
  • earache
  • fever

Babies with RSV may also:

  • Have no energy
  • Act fussy or cranky
  • Be less hungry than usual

However, doctors say RSV is more than a cold and added if wheezing, rapid breathing, and constricted airways are present these are good indicators to head to the hospital and get tested for the virus. 

If your child has RSV:

  • Prop up your child’s head to make it easier to breathe and sleep.
  • Suction your baby’s nose if he or she can’t breathe well enough to eat or sleep.
  • Control fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Never give aspirin to someone younger than 20 years, because it can cause Reye syndrome.

“There’s not a vaccine for RSV necessarily, it’s the young children with lung disease that are much higher risk of being hospitalized,” Dr. Fisher said. 

Although RSV primarily affects children they’re not the only ones that can fall victim to it. 

“Adults will get the same thing,” Dr. Guadalupe Zamora said.

The longtime family doctor said this year, so far, they’ve had one case of RSV, a five-year-old child.

For Gretchen Retherford, the spike in cases is concerning. A nurse by trade now turned mom worries about her 11-month-old baby, Emma.

“I do get more nervous about taking her outside,” she said. 

Retherford worked as a pediatrician’s nurse and many times came in contact with RSV.

“We had a lot of kids with RSV all the time, it’s very contagious,” she said. 

When she worked, she remembers conducting the test for the virus in the lab. 

“You are always worried about your patients, but then having your kid be a possible patient is very different,” she said. 

Baylor, Scott and White said next week, they will get another update with new numbers to show if they’ve had more cases.

KXAN also reached out to Dell Children’s Medical Center and were told that at least 20 percent of its daily cases are because of respiratory complaints.

A spokesperson for St. David’s Healthcare told KXAN that at this time it does not appear doctors are seeing a significant spike in RSV cases.

Flu in the Capital City: 

So far this year, there has been one influenza-related death in Travis County. Last flu season, 2017-2018, there were 50 influenza-related deaths of Travis County residents. 

Austin Public Health officials said currently, there is some evidence of the influenza virus circulating in the Austin population but the activity is low. 

To get the latest numbers on influenza, click HERE