MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Gatherings are more frequent now with the holidays underway, and medical professionals are warning parents to take extra precautions to keep their children from contracting RSV.

We previously reported that RSV cases are worse this year than years prior.  Pediatricians say the spike came after COVID and they now consider RSV to be year-round. 

Although RSV can resemble the typical cold, the main symptoms to watch for, especially for children under 2, include coughing, runny nose, appetite loss, and difficulty breathing.

We spoke with a pediatrician from USA Health who says they anticipate the cases to rise during the holiday season because of the increase they saw during Thanksgiving.

“There was obviously a big spike in RSV kind of in October, November and see saw those numbers kind of go down as the season progressed,” said Dr. Perrin Windham. “But then since we had the Thanksgiving holiday and everyone was kind of exposed to their families and other sick kids, we’ve kind of seen a rise back in that RSV in the last couple of weeks.”

Kayla York has a 1-year-old son. She says he started feeling bad on Thanksgiving Day and two days later he tested positive for RSV. 

“He started wheezing and coughing and he just wasn’t eating, and he started getting a fever and he wasn’t looking good at all… he’s a very happy go lucky baby,” said York. “It’s miserable, you just want to cry but you gotta stay strong for them.”

York says her son is a lot better now. His appetite is back and he’s breathing great.

Dr. Windham advises parents to routinely disinfect surfaces as RSV can live up to 6 hours. She also urges parents to ensure that anybody who comes in contact with their children wears a mask, if they’re sick and washes their hands frequently.

The SYNAGIS vaccine, which helps protect babies from RSV by producing antibodies that fight the virus, is another recommendation from doctors to parents of eligible infants.