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Helen DeVos Children's Hospital says RSV cases up more than 300% in the last month

Most children have had the virus by the age of two, but because they can be mild cases, some parents could miss the symptoms.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Helen DeVos Children's Hospital has seen a 385% increase of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases in the last month.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms within infants and children may be irritability, decreased activity and breathing difficulties. Children with RSV are contagious for 7 to 10 days.

There is no treatment other than over the counter fever reducers and lots of fluids. While there is also no way to test for RSV, the CDC says most children recover from the virus completely. 

The CDC says most children have had the virus by the age of two.  

Dr. Andrea Hadley, a pediatric hospitalist at Spectrum Health Butterworth, adds that it's possible for children to have a mild case of RSV and you wouldn't know it. 

"As a result, there are longer wait times in emergency departments and some delays in getting hospital beds at Helen DeVos," says Dr. Hadley. 

She also says the hospital has had to expand its pediatric intensive care unit to handle more patients.

"You may see care happening in more non-traditional spaces of the hospital. You may also be sharing a room with a patient, and that's not typically something we've done in the past, but to increase our bed capacity, it's one of our solutions."

For adults, the CDC says symptoms usually show within 4 to 6 days of being infected. Those symptoms usually include a runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing.

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