Spike in RSV cases brings restrictions to Valley hospitals

PHOENIX - Arizona is seeing an increase in the highly contagious virus called RSV that attacks the respiratory system.

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Wassim Ballan says RSV is very common among children, which is why Phoenix Children's Hospital is restricting visitors under the age of 12 and any adult who is sick.

"Any kids less than 12, we don't like them coming to the hospital because they obviously are at a higher risk of carrying those infections and passing them on," Ballan said.

The Arizona Department of Health Services shows 164 reports of  RSV this season with 32 cases within the last week. More than 80 percent of those sickened were children under the age of five.

Ballan says the common flu, also called Influenza, is also making a strong comeback in Arizona.

The Department of Health listed 114 laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu within the past week. Over 400 cases have been reported this season. Of those, 62 percent tested positive for H1N1.

The H1N1 virus is different than other types of the flu because it tends to strike younger adults harder than older.

Health experts say there are simple ways to stay healthy. Make sure to wash your hands often, cover your mouth and if you're sick, stay at home.

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