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Dignity Health Addresses Local and National Concern of Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Older Adults

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RSV activity is increasing in California and across the Nation

CENTRAL COAST, CA – December 1, 2022 – The respiratory syncytial virus, better known as RSV, is one of the leading respiratory viruses that continue to ramp up across the U.S. As news spreads of its dangers for pediatric patients, medical experts advise families not to lose sight of another vulnerable population that has historically been even more impacted by this virus. 

"Experts estimate that each year RSV leads to approximately 100–300 deaths in children under the age of five in the United States, but that number is much higher in older adults – between 6,000-10,0000 deaths per year,” says John Campbell, MD, CMD, FAAFP, Geriatrician, Marian Regional Medical Center. “RSV is of significant concern for older adults with underlying heart and lung disease or weakened immune systems. It’s important to pay attention to this vulnerable population, especially those who live with young children, since they tend to bring it home after catching it at school or daycare.”

RSV is most common from fall to spring, which lines up with the flu and cold season. Symptoms include: runny nose, decreased appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever, and wheezing. Preventing RSV is similar to the measures taken during the pandemic, and include: wearing a mask indoors or in crowded spaces, frequent hand washing, staying away from others who are sick, and staying home when you are experiencing illness. 

Please let me know if you would like to speak with Dr. Campbell to learn more about the implications of this respiratory virus on pediatric patients versus the senior population. 


About Dignity Health Central Coast 

Dignity Health Central Coast is comprised of five award-winning hospitals, all recognized for their quality of care, safety and service, primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically advanced imaging centers, outpatient services, and comprehensive home health services. For more information, visit

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Publish date: 

Thursday, December 01, 2022

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