Health officials warn of an early surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases nationwide. 

RSV is a common respiratory virus that causes mild, cold-like symptoms, but can lead to health complications in infants and older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 in the United States.

Sean O’Donnell, Montgomery County’s public health emergency preparedness manager, said at a media briefing on Monday that local hospitals are seeing a rise in RSV hospitalizations. 

O’Donnell also says testing has shown a high positivity rate for RSV across Maryland.

“This presents a little bit differently from some of the other types of colds– it is more of a difficulty breathing, shorter shallower breaths,” O’Donnell emphasized. “So if your young child is experiencing those, you’ve done a COVID test and it’s negative, please talk to your healthcare provider and consider being checked for RSV.”

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