RSV cases on the rise in Knoxville


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a heath advisory that Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV is now spreading throughout parts of the south, and we’re seeing an increase of the virus in Knoxville.

RSV is a contagious virus in children and can cause respiratory infections that can lead to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia.

Mild symptoms are the same as a common cold according to the Mayo Clinic’s website, but it was the more severe symptoms that had Courtney Dziewulski concerned for her nine-month-old son.

“On Saturday Huxlee woke up and he had this like wheezy type of cough,” said Dziewulski.

She said Huxlee then started to run a fever, “I took him to the doctor on Monday and they diagnosed him, they tested him, and he tested positive for RSV.”

However, his symptoms continued to get worse. Dziewulski ended up taking him to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

“While we were there for four days, they just gave him breathing treatments, and oxygen, and suctioned out all of the mucus that is a product of having RSV,” explained Dziewulski.

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.

This year, their spike in cases started in May.

“Our entire floor was just filled with children with RSV,” explained Courtney Dziewulski.

It’s a situation no parent wants to see their child go through see added,

“I myself have never spent more than multiple nights in the hospital and to be there that long with him and just kind of watch him be somewhat lifeless in a lot of ways because he just didn’t have the energy to do anything because he wasn’t getting enough oxygen was very scary. It was very very serious.”

Now Courtney Dziewulski and her son Huxlee are back home and she said he’s doing much better, but she wants other parents to be aware of the signs of RSV.

“Know your child and know what symptoms seem normal,” she said.

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.

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