MASON CITY — Influenza A and RSV cases are on the rise in north-central Iowa.
Karen Crimmings with the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health says you should get kids medical attention when you start noticing they are having a hard time breathing. “They’re breathing fast. If you can see their chest kind of moving inward, most definitely seek medical attention. You can kind of pay attention to their lips too, those will change, kind of a purplish-bluish. Here’s the thing, I have four children, and I would say a mother’s intuition is right. Any time you’re not feeling right about it, you need to seek medical care.”
Crimmings says the recent Thanksgiving holiday helped to spread Influenza A and RSV among people, and young and old people alike are being impacted. “Unfortunately when this RSV virus gets shared with a young infant or young toddler, it can be kind of severe once in a while. Most will do just fine at home, but you look at the hospital floors all over the nation and these young ones are getting hit hard. It really affects their breathing and sometimes they need support for that. We’re also seeing the elderly are getting impacted by RSV this year, more severe than what we normally see.”
Crimmings says stay home when you are sick, wash your hands and cover your cough. She says stay away from individuals who are at high risk of having severe illness if you have symptoms of RSV or the flu. “If you don’t need to go around them, don’t. If you do, put a mask on. That helps stop those respiratory droplets from transmitting to those. If you do have to be around them, pop a mask on, it certainly helps.”
As of last week in Iowa, two people had died from the flu with about 140 people being hospitalized. There had also been almost 1400 new cases of RSV reported statewide in the last week.