There has been a significant increase in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in Colorado in recent weeks, occurring much earlier than usual, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

RSV has overwhelmed emergency rooms in many parts of the country, requiring treatment and hospitalization for young children. Currently, 95% of the hospitalizations in Colorado are among children.

Since October, more than 500 people have been hospitalized for RSV and influenza.

“The increase in RSV-related hospitalizations in Colorado in recent weeks is very concerning,” said Dr. Eric France, Pediatrician and Chief Medical Officer for CDPHE and offers this advice:

  • Stay home when you are sick and limit contact with others that may be at high risk.
  • Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid sharing cups or utensils.
  • Clean contaminated surfaces regularly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), RSV is a common virus that generally results in mild symptoms resembling a cold. While most people can recover within a few weeks, RSV can be serious for infants, children, and older adults. RSV is a common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia, especially in extremely young children.

If your child shows signs of RSV, take them to their primary care physician or one of AFC Urgent Care Denver’s walk-in clinics for assessment. Your healthcare provider can help determine the best approach to managing symptoms and when to be seen in a doctor’s office, urgent care facility, or emergency department.

“As the weather gets colder, more people are spending more time indoors, and viruses are more likely to spread indoors,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, CDPHE’s State Epidemiologist.