Experts are predicting that Americans will grapple with three viruses this winter–COVID-19, influenza and RSV, which many are just learning about for the first time, but for pediatricians it's been a well known threat to children. "It's not a new virus, and that's what's puzzling us is why is it appearing earlier than usual," Dr. Ilan Shapiro, FAAP, chief health correspondent and medical affairs officer at AltaMed Health Service tells us. Dr. Sharon Nachman, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children's Hospital adds, "This is a highly transmissible respiratory virus. You can get it more than once in a season (as there are several serotypes). It typically affects young kids and those over 65, often with severe respiratory illness."
Bernadette Boden-Albala, MPH, DrPH, Director and Founding Dean, University of California, Irvine Program in Public Health says, "Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that affects the lungs and breathing passages, which symptoms are like the flu. But there is no vaccine to prevent RSV yet so infants, young children, and older adults must be cautious to avoid close contact with sick people, wash hands often and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands."