Wisconsin sees increase in respiratory illnesses

The flu has been the talk of the winter season, but it’s not the only thing keeping people sick. The state of Wisconsin has seen an increase in RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus cases.

RSV is a respiratory illness from which most people can recover from in one to two weeks. RSV is especially concerning for children under 5 years old and seniors, as they have weaker immune systems.

Symptoms of the illness are similar to the flu and include coughing, sneezing, fever and a decrease in appetite.

Doctors at Gundersen Health System say preventing RSV is a lot like preventing the flu.

“The best way to combat RSV is the same as you would with influenza: Wash your hands. You can use something as simple as personal hand sanitizer, which you can keep in your purse, your backpack, your car, even your keychain if you want. It’s being really mindful about when you’re sneezing, wash your hands,” said Gundersen infection preventionist Megan Meller.