RSV, respiratory viruses on the rise in young North Alabama children as COVID-19 measures lift

'I noticed he was pulling from his ribs and his nostrils were flaring.'

Posted: Jun 18, 2021 8:40 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2021 12:53 PM

Pediatricians are seeing a return of respiratory viruses among children as COVID-19 measures are being lifted.

RSV, a respiratory virus that infects the lungs, is now a big concern.

Cody and Kelly Fuller's son experienced RSV firsthand. 

"It’s something we never experienced before," said Cody Fuller.

The first-time parents said they just noticed something was off with their newborn son, Archie.

"He was a little congested," said Fuller. "Which newborns are noisy breathers so we didn’t know if we should be alarmed."

By Saturday night, Archie was vomiting and had a fever. The Fullers, immediately look their son to the ER, but that night, his lungs sounded OK and his temperature went down. 

"On Monday, I took him back to the pediatrician's office and he tested positive for RSV," said Fuller. "We were kind of just monitoring his symptoms at home."

Monday afternoon, Archie's demeanor changed. The new parents saw and heard their son struggling to breathe.

"One of the best things they told us was to take off their clothing so you can watch their chest as they're breathing," said Fuller. "I noticed he was pulling from his ribs and his nostrils were flaring."

Doctor Rachel Lee at the University of Alabama at Birmingham said there has been an increase in RSV cases. The visus usually takes hold in the winter.

"This is likely due to the fact that we're taking off our masks and interacting with one another again," said Lee.

Nurses said Archie's experience with RSV was typical for a newborn, only lasting a few days, but it could have been much worse. 

It's just something Kelly Fuller and her husband, never thought they'd have to face.

"You’re mind's like Covid, Covid, Covid and you don’t know there are these other viruses that are terrible for newborns," said Fuller. "His demeanor is a lot better, he’s eating better, he’s a lot more hydrated and alert."

Fuller said they're more mindful of who they bring around Archie.

She said if they're indoors, Fuller does ask her family members to wear a mask.

Her advice to other new Moms, do whatever you're comfortable with, to keep your newborn safe.

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