Tucson mom concerned over rise in RSV cases in Pima County

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Hospitals across the country are seeing an increase in RSV cases among children. RSV coupled with the Flu and COVID is becoming a tripledemic for children this fall.

KGUN 9 On Your Side spoke with one new mom who’s especially worried about RSV this fall. She’s working to do anything she can to protect her baby.

“You know, I’m in quite a bit of mom groups like for new moms on Facebook and I’ve seen so many women post that my baby is in intensive care,” Amanda Miller-Cruz shared. “One lady, her baby had two collapsed lungs and another lady her baby had a collapsed lung and pneumonia, all of it from RSV. So it’s really scary.”

New mom Miller-Cruz gave birth to her daughter Karen back in July. After having a high risk pregnancy and her own health issues, the tripledemic has her concerned.

“Well, you know, COVID was scary as it was, and I got vaccinated. I got two vaccines while I was pregnant with her,” Miller-Cruz said. “So I’m like, well, at least she hopefully has some, some antibodies from that, but I know there’s no vaccination for RSV. And so it’s scary and of course, she can’t wear a mask.”

Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen says RSV is a respiratory virus and similar to the flu. She says RSV affects children more than adults with symptoms such as the sniffles, cough, runny nose and fever.

“Well, I think we are worried about the combination, but we also are seeing an increase in RSV especially in the littles those four years and younger,” Cullen explained. “Right now the numbers in Pima County are about double what they were last year. That’s still not a huge number. But that in itself is worrisome to us.”

She says the best way to protect you and your family is to wash your hands and know the symptoms. As for RSV, she believes there will be more cases of this fall.

“We look at trend data and the trend seems to indicate that that number of RSV cases is going to increase,” Cullen said.

For more information on how you can keep yourself and little ones safe, please explore the CDC’s guidelines on RSV Transmission.

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Denelle Confair is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. It’s been her dream to tell your stories for the past decade. She is extremely curious and wants to continue to use her storytelling for the greater good. Share your story ideas and important issues with Denelle by emailing [email protected] or by connecting on Facebook, and Twitter.

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