Cases of RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, have risen steadily in the last few weeks. RSV is a virus that affects the lungs and breathing passages.
RSV is an entirely different stand of virus as influenza. Symptoms include sore throat, headache and cough. Severe cases will also bring high fever, wheezing and rapid breathing. People can contract RSV at any age, but it's particularly severe for the elderly and very young children.
"If you have a pre-term infant or an infant born with some cardiac or some lung issues, a lot of times the pediatricians will order a vaccine throughout the winter months to prevent them from contracting this virus," said Lynelle Diers, Director of Wapello County Public Health. "It can be deadly to them."
Diers said the best way to prevent RSV is similar to any virus, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and often.
If you have small children, clean their toys often and be sure to keep all countertops and surfaces in your home clean. Since RSV is most common during the winter months, be extra careful not to share drinks or spread germs otherwise during this time.