Influenza, RSV of Greater Immediate Concern to Region Than Coronavirus

Officials at Sanford say there are health concerns that are a more immediate threat already active in our region.

With fears of a pandemic on the horizon due to the Wuhan Coronavirus that originated in China, Officials at Sanford say there are health concerns that are a more immediate threat already active in our region.

Influenza and RSV, the respiratory syncytial virus, are two viruses that pose the highest risks to people of all ages in our region.

In the state of North Dakota, their have been 4061 cases of influenza for the 2019-2020 flu season, and over 93,000 positive cases nationwide, according to the CDC.

“The reason we are seeing an increase in Influenza this year is because people aren’t staying home, we highly recommend that they do. If your child has RSV or if it’s going around in day care or schools, please do not kiss the children. That’s a very common thing that RSV contracts to children, so please do not kiss the babies.” said Autumn Nelson, a Family Nurse Practitioner with Sanford.

Compare that with the Wuhan coronavirus, which has 4,724 confirmed cases worldwide, and only 5 confirmed in the United States.

No cases have been confirmed in North Dakota or Minnesota.

Still, Nelson says that it’s a very dangerous virus due to it’s unique traits.

“The Corona Virus, day 2-14 is the incubation period, meaning that people are asymptomatic and don’t know they have the virus, which is very dangerous, we usually don’t see that,” said Nelson “So it’s a very, very dangerous virus.”

“Most people who have become ill are the old and immunocompromised, so people who would most likely be susceptible to getting ill from a respiratory infection,” said Brenton Nesemeier, the Field Supervisor for Cass Public Health.

Some estimates say that due to under reporting by the Chinese government, the real figure may be anywhere from 19,000 to 34,000 cases.

If you have to travel, you need to keep your self safe from respiratory illness, including Influenza, RSV, and the Wuhan Coronavirus.

“The thing to remember with any respiratory illness, it is that time of the year, just make sure to wash your hand, covering your cough, and staying home when your ill,” said Nesemeier.

“If you are traveling, we just advise that you’re very cautious, and know where the virus is,” said Nelson “Influenza and RSV are going around, so there is a lot of respiratory illness. We recommend hand hygiene, and if you’re sick, coughing, sneezing, or have a fever, please do not travel and stay home.”

While no cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in our state, Influenza and RSV pose a greater threat to all of us here in the Red River Valley.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-MN, Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News