Nearly 400 hospitalizations statewide for RSV in Minnesota

A spike of Respiratory Syncytial Virus cases is hitting clinics and hospitals throughout Minnesota with nearly 400 hospitalizations for Respiratory Syncytial Virus statewide over the last few months.

The number of RSV cases nationwide has even triggered a warning from the Centers for Disease Control.

“I think we’ve seen an uptick, but we don’t think we’re in the clear yet,” said Dr. Madeleine Gagnon, a Gillette Children's pediatrician.

Dr. Gagnon says the hospital and their clinics are seeing a big surge of people seeking relief from RSV.

“That RSV virus—that’s one of those viruses that actually the first few days can be less severe than day 5, day 7, so that’s a virus with little ones under the age of 5 in particular to be mindful of,” said Dr. Gagnon.

Minnesota Department of Health officials say there have been 386 hospitalizations for RSV since October, which is up significantly from last year. 

RSV spreads through the air. It often starts out like the common cold or flu, but can be especially dangerous for young children or the elderly because it can compromise breathing.

Dr. Gagnon says recognizing symptoms early can really help.

“We really recommend early escalation - get to your primary care provider, get assessed make sure you’re doing all the things that you can do to help treat the illness or decrease the length of duration or severity of illness,” she said.

On top of respiratory issues, a lot of clinics and hospitals around the metro are also seeing an uptick in stomach bugs. Experts say the best preventative measures are to wash hands and try to avoid people who are sick.