KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — East Tennessee Children’s Hospital said they have treated more cases of Respiratory Syncytial Disease, or RSV, in July than the first six months of 2021 combined.

There have been a total of 303 RSV cases at the Knoxville hospital in the month of July, two more cases than reported in the first six months of 2021 combined.

RSV is a contagious virus in children and can cause respiratory infections that can lead to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia. In June, the Centers for Disease Control issued a health advisory after seeing an increase in RSV cases across the southern United States.

“Due to reduced circulation of RSV during the winter months of 2020–2021, older infants and toddlers might now be at increased risk of severe RSV-associated illness since they have likely not had typical levels of exposure to RSV during the past 15 months,” a release from the CDC said.

Erica Estep with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital said they normally see a peak in RSV after the winter holidays and it’s normally gone by mid-April.

Health professionals say to remember to wash hands regularly and clean surfaces with disinfectants.

Parents should also keep school-aged children with a cold away from babies until symptoms have passed. If you notice your child wheezing do not hesitate to call your local pediatrician.

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville is one of four Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Centers in the state of Tennessee.