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‘It can be very serious:’ With flu on everyone’s mind, father warns of another dangerous virus

DENVER, Colo. — While influenza is on everybody’s minds, there is another illness putting people in the hospital.

It’s a respiratory virus called RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, and it can be serious, especially for older adults and infants.

Two-month-old Nathely is in pediatric intensive care — rushed to the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children from a hospital in Fort Morgan, Colo. Nathely had stopped eating, had a fever and trouble breathing.

“It’s pretty scary at that moment,” said Raymundo Castillo, Nathely’s father.

Raymundo and Blanca Castillo said their older children were fighting what seemed to be a bad cold, and Nathely was really struggling.

“We were afraid something else was going to happen to her,” said Castillo.

The baby girl was diagnosed with RSV.

“It’s a common cold for most of us, but for babies, especially those under a year of age, it seems to hit them a lot worse,” said RMHC Pediatric Intensivist Dr. Raju Meyappan.

He explained that’s because the virus causes inflammation which can block a baby’s small airways.

Meyappan has seen about 20 babies with RSV in the PICU since November.

“It can be very serious and cause hospitalizations up to a month long,” said Meyappan.

According to Meyappan, days ago, Nathely had some fever-induced seizures, but was improving as of Jan. 16. She’ll be given a feeding tube to get her eating, once again.

“I just try to be strong, but it’s pretty sad to see your youngest kid at the hospital,” said Castillo.

Nathely’s worried parents said they’re comforted knowing she’s in good hands.

The RSV season extends to March. The best way to protect your baby is stay away from sick people and make everyone wash their hands often.