RSV hospitalizations rise among older adults

Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 7:53 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The country is seeing a rise in RSV among older adults.

A decreased immune system in older adults can put them at risk if they contract RSV, and if it’s not taken care of, it can lead to more serious diseases.

“Specifically, RSV because it is a respiratory virus, it can lead to further issues such as pneumonia for older adults and so once you get to the point of developing pneumonia, which is a lower respiratory infection that becomes more severe for older adults,” St. Bernard’s Director of Infection Prevention Niki Crocker said.

Crocker said Northeast Arkansas is seeing more cases, but she said it’s because RSV is being tested more among older adults.

Crocker said a weakened immune system in older adults could make it easier for them to contract other diseases that could land them in the hospital.

“They typically have a little bit more of a decreased immune system or they have chronic illnesses on top of that so you can have an adult who has multiple viruses going on at one time.”

Crocker recommended older adults be mindful of surfaces, wash their hands, clean regularly used items like phones, and try to keep their hands off of their faces.

For those who do contract RSV, she recommended they stay home, take medication, and stay hydrated to keep the risk of other diseases away.