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RSV Season is Here

RSV Season is Here, Become Aware to Take Care

It’s that time of the year, filled with holiday cheer but also RSV season.  Get to know the symptoms, complications, and when to go to the ER to enjoy the end-of-year holidays safely.  Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus which if left untreated can be deadly.  Get to know more about the rise in RSV cases in children and adults to prevent its spread and protect your family.

What is RSV?

According to the CDC, each year in the US there are 2.1 million outpatient visits among children younger than 5 years old and 58,000 hospitalizations.  RSV is even more dangerous within the population of 65 and older, as each year it is the cause of approximately 14,000 deaths.  While listed as a common respiratory infection, RSV is listed by the CDC as “the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States.”

Current RSV Cases in Texas

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has reported a tremendous increase in cases this year in comparison to what they were experiencing a year ago.  As you can see, the numbers speak for themselves within the CDC charts below revealing the total amount of antigen tests, detections, and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests.

In order to prevent additional RSV cases in children and adults, get to know how it’s spread, the symptoms, and complications which vary.

How is RSV Spread?

Like most respiratory viruses, RSV is spread by touching an infected surface and by air.  In fact, the virus can survive on hard surfaces for many hours.  The following are some examples of how the RSV virus is transmitted as listed by the CDC:

  • An infected person coughs or sneezes
  • You get virus droplets from a cough or sneeze in your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • You touch a surface that has the virus on it, like a doorknob, and then touch your face before washing your hands
  • You have direct contact with the virus, like kissing the face of a child with RSV

Once infected with RSV, a healthy individual can remain contagious for 3-8 days.  However, in some cases, “individuals can continue to spread the virus even after they stop showing symptoms, for as long as 4 weeks.”

Who is at Risk?

Some people are more likely to be at high risk of developing a severe RSV infection.  The following are examples of who could be at a greater risk if infected and may need to be hospitalized (source CDC):

  • Premature infants
  • Young children with congenital (from birth) heart or chronic lung disease
  • Young children with compromised (weakened) immune systems due to a medical condition or medical treatment
  • Children who have neuromuscular disorders, including those who have difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus secretions
  • Adults with compromised immune systems
  • Older adults, especially those with underlying heart or lung disease
  • Individuals with chronic health problems
  • Individuals suffering from asthma

RSV Symptoms

It is vital to know how to recognize RSV signs and symptoms.  These tend to show up within 4-6 days and usually appear in stages.  “In very young infants with RSV, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and breathing difficulties.” Source CDC.   The following are the most common RSV signs and symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Coughing & Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing

Should you or a loved one exhibit any of these RSV symptoms (which do not come all at once), visit your local Altus location to have it evaluated by an ER physician and avoid possible complications.

RSV Complications

As we have indicated, if left untreated, RSV can escalate to dangerous complications.  These tend to vary in children and adults, the following are some of the most common RSV complications:

 

RSV Complications in Infants and Children according to the CDC:

  • Bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung)
  • Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)

 

RSV Complications in Adults according to the CDC:

  • Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
  • More severe symptoms for people with asthma
  • More severe symptoms for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (a chronic disease of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe)
  • Congestive heart failure (when the heart can’t pump blood and oxygen to the body’s tissues)

 

RSV while common can be deadly particularly in adults and individuals with preexisting medical conditions.  There is no reason to put your own life or others lives at risk.  We offer a free medical screening at all of our four Altus locations.

When to Go to the ER

Should you suspect a case of RSV, we encourage that you get tested to avoid potential dangerous complications.  Please call 911 or visit your nearest Altus location if any of the following occurs:

 

In Children:

  • If your child is lethargic, unresponsiveness
  • It is obvious that they are having difficulty breathing
  • Lips and fingernails turn blue
  • Signs of dehydration
  • High fever
  • Stops breathing for more than 10 seconds.
  • In older children, cannot speak while trying to breathe.

 

In Adults:

  • Persistent fever of 103°F or higher
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Inability to eat/dehydration

 

In the case of adults, we recommend to use your best judgement.  While in young children and infants, they cannot communicate all that they are experiencing, in adults we recommend to follow your gut.  If you feel as if you need emergency medical care do not risk your life.

 

While scientists are working on finding one, currently, there is no vaccine or cure for RSV. The best way to prevent an RSV infection is to look for ways to prevent or better manage severe illness.

 

Prevent the spread of RSV by following the common sense tips:

  • Avoid being around people who are sick. If you are the person who is ill, do everyone a favor and stay home
  • Always cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • Regularly disinfect surfaces, especially those in high-traffic areas
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent germs from entering your system
  • Should you suspect to have RSV, visit your nearest Altus location, we are always open and here to help you.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

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Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour Emergency Room Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to aid you in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Top Reasons to Visit the ER Right Now!

Top Reasons to Visit the ER Right Now!

Knowing when to go to the ER to seek medical care is often challenging, particularly this last year while we all learned to cope with COVID-19.

Yet, it’s important to keep ourselves healthy, which means addressing potentially serious health problems when they arise.

There are specific symptoms and conditions you should never ignore, as they could indicate serious health issues.  Let’s learn about the top reasons to visit the ER to be prepared and seek help fast.

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These are the top reasons you should visit the ER Immediately

Chest Pain

The first of the top reasons to visit the ER is chest pain. When we talk about chest pains, it could be several pain types, including sharp, dull, burning, or crushing. The pain is not limited to the area around your heart; it can extend from your neck to your abdomen.

Chest pain could be a sign of a serious or life-threatening health problem, such as a blood clot, heart attack, or even COVID-19.

Some chest pain results from benign or mild medical conditions such as heartburn and indigestion. Still, the best way to know for sure is to seek immediate medical attention for any chest pain that lasts for more than five minutes.

When it comes to chest pain, better safe than sorry is the right approach!

Abdominal Pain

Just like chest pain, a variety of causes are responsible for your abdominal pain, the next of the top reasons to visit the ER. Many are mild and won’t require a visit to the ER. Still, others could potentially place your life in danger and will therefore require emergency medical care.

 

Causes of abdominal pain that will require ER treatment include:

  • Appendicitis (bust appendix)
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Gallstones
  • Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
  • Diverticulitis (inflammation or infection of pouches that can form in your intestines known as diverticula)
  • Kidney stones
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation in the pancreas)

 

Additionally, some potentially fatal conditions can cause abdominal pain. These cases require immediate diagnosis and treatment in the ER:

  • AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm)
  • Ectopic pregnancy (ruptured)
  • Ischemic bowel
  • Perforated bowel or stomach
  • Bleeding or ruptured stomach ulcers

 

Whenever you experience unexplained, severe abdominal pain, it’s best to come to the nearest Altus Emergency center to be examined by a professional.

abdominal-pain-and-cramps

Upper Respiratory Infections (URI)

Another common top reasons to visit the ER was highly prevalent during the pandemic, upper respieratory infections.  Both bacteria and viruses can cause severe infections. However, the cause of most upper respiratory infections is viruses.

Viral infections like the common cold and the flu are familiar to all of us. Yet, we now face a more severe type of viral infection which is COVID-19.

 

Regardless of the virus responsible for the infection, you will need to visit the ER if:

  • You are experiencing severe symptoms
  • You are part of a high-risk group

 

Signs of infectious diseases vary. However, most share these symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion and runny nose
  • Pain or pressure in the sinus area
  • Fever
  • Sore throat

 

Other less common symptoms include:

  • Loss of sense of smell (hyposmia)
  • Body aches
  • Headache

 

You should come to the ER as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing blood
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Fever or chills that don’t improve with treatment
  • Feeling confused or disoriented
  • Cough turns brassy or has a barking sound
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Symptoms last more than ten days or worsen after improving

Broken Bones and Strains

Broken bones vary in severity and are a top reasons to visit the ER especially during spring and summer.  Some injuries can wait until you can see a doctor. But if you notice the bone protrudes through the skin, or if the limb is severely misaligned or mangled by the trauma, you need to head to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

If you are unsure whether you fractured a bone or not, the only way to know for sure is to get examined by a doctor. 

 

In addition to the emergency symptoms mentioned before, these symptoms will let you know if you need to visit the ER:

  • Bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Bruising or swelling at the site of injury

 

Muscle strains can happen when at any time. When you are at work, exercising, playing sports, or doing chores around the house.

Torn muscles can cause severe discomfort. Without proper treatment, you run the risk of living with chronic pain and weakness in the injured area. You will also have a higher risk of recurring injuries during everyday use, negatively impacting your quality of life.

Therefore, if you suspect you may have a torn muscle, it’s best to come to our ER for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Head Trauma

Head injuries can be serious. Even if you can’t see any physical evidence of trauma and don’t experience any immediate symptoms, you still need to be vigilant.  It is recommended to head for an ER as they are specially equipped with the required imaging technology in order to obtain a proper diagnosis.

 

Symptoms that suggest you sustained a severe head injury and need to go to the ER as soon as possible include:

  • Loss of consciousness at the time of the accident
  • Feeling confused or disoriented after the injury
  • You were involved in a car crash, even a minor one
  • Trouble keeping balance
  • Trouble remember recent events or events involving the injury
  • Seizures
  • Trouble speaking
  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting after the injury
  • Vision changes, having trouble seeing or focusing
  • Changes in behavior after the accident

Fever

A fever is a temporary rise in your body temperature. It is often associated with an illness. However, a persistent or unusually high fever that won’t go away with over-the-counter treatment can signify infection.

When to Come to Altus ER

When to Come to Altus ER

  • Babies under three months with a temperature higher than 100.4 F
  • Infants and small children with temperatures higher than 102 F
  • Adults with a temperature of 103 F or higher
  • Rush to the nearest ER if you also have nausea, headache, a stiff neck, confusion, or a rash in addition to a fever. You may have meningitis
  • In addition to a high fever, you also have diarrhea, vomiting, headache, tiredness, confusion, and dizziness. It could be Toxic Shock Syndrome

 

At Altus Emergency Centers, we provide you with the best diagnostic technology and the most qualified physicians to treat all your emergencies. We are open 24/7. We adhere to the strictest safety protocols and best practices to ensure our patient’s, visitors’, and staff’s safety.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

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