A child is fed liquid medicine for respiratory syncytial virus.

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Respiratory infections pick up the most in December

December 04, 2018 - 3:00 am
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KYW’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Respiratory syncytial virus causes respiratory tract infections in children. 

RSV, as it is also known, is most common between November and April. December is the month where we see the largest number of cases. 

Children usually begin coughing, getting a runny nose, and wheezing. Physicians can make the diagnosis without lab tests or a chest X-ray. 

Naturally we worry about any child with a respiratory infection, but RSV can attack infants under 2 months of age, and they often require hospitalization. 

The official name for the respiratory infection caused by RSV is a bronchiolitis, and children under 2 are particularly vulnerable. With the exception of severe cases, treatment of RSV is supportive with oxygen and hydration.