Doctors urge caution for Thanksgiving gatherings amid rise in RSV cases

Experts offer some advice to best protect the health of the youngest and oldest at your holiday table, including to cover your cough, wash your hands and stay home when you are sick.

News 12 Staff

Nov 17, 2022, 10:54 PM

Updated 557 days ago

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Medical experts are advising residents to be cautious during Thanksgiving gatherings due to an uptick in RSV cases.
RSV is a respiratory virus that can be dangerous in infants and seniors.
"Turns out all the things we've been doing to prevent COVID worked to prevent other viruses like RSV as well," says Dr. Kristen Navarette, a pediatrician with MVP Health Care, which is headquartered in Tarrytown.
"Those kids are now being exposed this year. As opposed to just having one smaller age group being exposed in one year, you're having multiple ages being exposed all at the same time causing illness," Navarette explains.
Locally, Dr. William Greenhut, medical director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Montefiore Nyack told News 12 they've had 149 patients test positive for RSV in the past month and a half, with cases doubling mid-October.
Dr. Sankaran Krishnan, section chief of Pediatric Pulmonology at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital told News 12 they've had 70 to 100 patients admitted over the past few weeks because of RSV and related conditions, with case numbers remaining steady since late summer and fall
Navarette isn't sure if the peak is behind us yet.
"Viruses like to spread when people gather. So, you know, I think that we've been seeing it rise and what happens over the next few weeks with the holidays will be really telling as to whether or not we've reached or passed a peak," Navarette says.
Experts offer some advice to best protect the health of the youngest and oldest at your holiday table, including to cover your cough, wash your hands and stay home when you are sick.
It's also important to maintain one's distance.
"That is how we spread diseases. When we're up close breathing on them, kissing on them, sharing those germs. So in particular, I know it's very exciting when new babies are around, but it's important to keep your distance, especially if you have any cold symptoms at all," Navarette says.
Navarette also recommends taking advantage of virtual doctor visits if possible.


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