AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – With the season of respiratory illnesses upon us, pediatric doctors are sharing important information on how to prevent the spread of RSV.

Local doctors tell us about the risks and how to stay protected.

RSV is a respiratory virus causing cold-like symptoms that can become severe.

“Anybody can get it, so middle-age people,” said Dr. Kelli Rummings, a pediatric fellow at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. “It causes a lot of problems in our elderly population as well.”

Doctors tell us that as many as 160 thousand older adults are hospitalized with RSV each year in the U-S. 

About 2.1 million children are diagnosed with RSV.

“The patients that are at the highest risk are going to be our younger patients,” said Dr. Rummings.

Severe RSV infection can cause wheezing and trouble breathing. 

Doctors tell us RSV hospitalizations in 2022 were higher than in 2021. They believe this is due to people not developing natural immunity.

“Simply because the prevention measures that were put in place for COVID actually protected people from other respiratory illnesses,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist of South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control. “So people didn’t develop a natural immunity and we saw a very severe RSV season last year.”

Dr. Rummings says that some of the best ways to prevent the spread are washing your hands frequently, isolating yourself if you’re sick and wearing masks.

She also recommends a newly approved antibody that can protect infants against RSV.

“I’m not sure when it’s going to be released, but It’s for children that are basically under eight months of age that are going into an RSV season or are in the middle of RSV season,” said Dr. Rummings. “And there’s children that are eligible to get a second dose if they have comorbidities from eight months to nineteen months.”

For more information on the FDA and CDC approved antibody, visit