Alabama health officials say RSV surging earlier than expected

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — It’s called respiratory syncytial virus, but it’s more commonly known as RSV.

Doctors say that it’s a common respiratory condition among children; however, what is not common is that health experts are seeing cases spike much earlier than expected.

Symptoms resemble a cold but can be very severe for children under 10. RSV has even closed down Austinville Elementary School in Decatur and doctors fear that it could get much worse.

A woman in Morgan County told News 19 when the child that she was watching, who is a student in the Morgan County school system, had a persistent cough that wouldn’t go away, she knew that something was wrong. The family rushed the child into the hospital, and she was diagnosed with RSV.

“She went into respiratory failure, and they all came in and then they incubated her,” the woman said.

Now there are growing concerns of a possible triple pandemic this winter: the flu, RSV, and COVID-19 combined. Dr. Wes Stubblefield of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) says RSV is three months ahead of its peak this year.

“During the pandemic, the seasons shifted a bit but in 2021, we saw RSV unusually in the summertime, and in 2022 we’ve seen a more typical pattern with RSV showing up in the wintertime,” Stubblefield explained.

Decatur City Schools reported 100 students at Austinville diagnosed with flu-like symptoms. Classes were shut down immediately on Tuesday, but the outbreak is growing across the country. The CDC