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Respiratory syncytial virus ( RSV) is on the rise among children and on the minds of parents

With RSV on the rise parents are keeping a close eye on their children's health

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-Doctors say it is RSV season and parents are trying to protect those at risk.

Kendall and Terry Butler said their oldest son, Owen, came down with RSV at Disneyland before their youngest son was born.

"It is scary, you can see them struggling to breathe and you go into panic mode." said Kendall Butler, "We took him right to the ER and he was seen and able to get medication and he was able to get out in 7 hours, it is pretty nuts."

Terry Butler said Owen's chest seem to be contracting.

The couple recently moved to Santa Barbara and said their friends and relatives are currently caring for children with RSV.

"Seeing that type of reaction from a child not being able or having difficulties breathing and laboring is pretty frightening."

They are making sure their boys wash their hands and limit mouth to hand contact.

Jessica Kuga of Goleta made sure her kids stayed in the Kids World play area before sharing her thoughts about the virus.

"I know it is really serious for new babies and it has been definitely top-of-mind during cold season," said Kuga.

She has a 2, 5, and 7-year-old who have been washing their hands more since the coronavirus.

She also reminds them not to share drinks, straws or spoons.

"My house is a revolving door of runny noses," said Kuga, "I'm hoping that tamps down some of the colds that are going around."

Saralisa Manson of Santa Barbara is expecting her third child, a son, anytime now.

She has been reminding her boys to wash up, too.

Like many parents she doesn't known what the letters RSV mean but said, "It stands for respiratory something."

Syncytial (pronounced Sin-SISH-ul) is medical term describing a cell-like structure formed by two or more cells.

Manson said the important thing is that she knows it can be dangerous especially in newborns.

"It is here, it has been going around, it is something to be aware of."

Another new mom said her pediatrician told her to avoid taking her newborn into crowds because of the severity of RSV season.

Many parents said that can be difficult during the holidays.

"It is definitely nerve-wracking though and something you have to think about, but I think the kids being at the park is something we have made the conscious decision to not sacrifice," said Terry Butler.

Cottage Hospital is seeing a significant increase in cases and urges the community to take precautions. Doctors hope people will protect those most at risk including infants and adults over age 65.

Symptoms include runny nose, cough, and trouble breathing.

For more information visit www.cdc.gov/rsv

Article Topic Follows: Health
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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