HOUSTON — Winter is here and that means it’s that time of year when people start getting sick.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning of a cold-like illness that affects everyone.
Dr. Christa Filak, a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann, said everyone can catch the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) but especially babies and the elderly susceptible.
She said the virus acts like the cold but it can also make it hard to breathe.
For instance, Dr. Filak said it is prime time pediatric season at the moment.
One thing she’s keeping a close eye on is RSV.
“It’s going to peak right now about January or February is when it’s going to really hit the Houston area and we’ve been seeing a little bit of it,” Dr. Filak said.
RSV affects the lungs.
She said, “They have wheezing or trouble breathing. They may need oxygen. They may need breathing treatments.”
Also, she said RSV can easily spread.
“It’s people blowing their nose, leaving their tissues out. The school desks. Everyone is all, again, huddled together. Everyone is sharing all their germs,” Dr. Filak said.
If you’re starting to get sick she recommends people get lots of rest, wash their hands and stay home.
Dr. Filak said unlike the cold which is only contagious for a few days RSV can been contagious for up to a week.
In addition, people may confuse allergies for cold-like symptoms.
She said allergies never cause a fever so that will let you know if it’s something more serious or not.