Area hospitals are seeing a greater number of cases and more severe cases related to the Rhinovirus.
Rhinoviruses are among the most common causes of the common cold, but can cause more severe illnesses in people with underlying lung disorders. They can trigger asthma attacks and have also been linked to sinus and ear infections.
While asthma flare-ups typically increase during the fall, local hospitals are seeing an increase in pediatric asthma flare-ups and breathing difficulties. Testing of patients has linked these flare-ups to the Rhinovirus. Because Rhinovirus is not a reportable disease, no statistics are available.
The virus is spread through the air and close personal contact. Symptoms usually include sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, headaches and body aches. Most patients recover in seven to 10 days.
The Winnebago County Health Department recommends the following ways to protect yourself and others:
— Frequent hand washing
— Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
— Stay away from sick people
— Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others
— Cough and sneeze into a tissue
— Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as toys and doorknobs.