We finally have a break from the bitterly cold weather, but a remnant of that has had a lot of people confined to bed lately.
Respiratory syncytial virus, RSV for short, is a viral infection with symptoms similar to a common cold, but it can sometimes lead to more severe, even life threatening respiratory issues.
"We have seen an increased number of outbreaks and so we're using this opportunity to advise everyone to practise giood respiratory etiquette," stated Dr. Ifoema Achebe, medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services Central Zone. "We also want to remind people if you're having symptoms, you should refrain from visiting (young) children or vulnerable individuals."
"Unfortunately, it's not preventable by a vaccine so it is a responsibility of all of us to ensure that the vulnerable ones around us are protected," she added.
A total of 217 people in Central Zone have tested positive for RSV so far this winter; that's more than double the number of cases in the region a year ago.
The most vulnerable to RSV are very young children, the elderly and people with existing respiratory health issues.
"They have similar symptoms with the common cold, so you can have a bad cold, coughm, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, aches and pains, fever," outlined Dr. Achebe. "Because it's viral we'll usually advise people to stay home: don't go to the hospital, just stay home and let it run its course."
For more information on RSV, follow this link.