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Local Flu Cases Double, But Another Virus is Spreading Faster

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — This season’s powerful influenza outbreak is being blamed for 5 deaths in California, including two in the Los Angeles area.

Flu activity has seen a steep increase in recent weeks with the state’s number of outpatient visits and hospitalizations higher than normal for mid-January, public health officials said Friday.

But health officials are equally concerned about record levels of infections with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV — another virus that impacts the respiratory system, and which can be particularly dangerous in young children.

Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, told the L.A. Times that that many people who had shown up in local hospitals over the past six weeks or so complaining of flu-like illness actually had RSV, and that the county was experiencing the “highest level of RSV we’ve seen.”

The county’s most recent Influenza Watch report said RSV prevalence at the end of the December was the highest recorded in the last three years.

In all, 460 people have tested positive for the virus this season — 143 of them just in the last week of 2012.

In adults, RSV infection can seem like a flu, causing a runny nose, a sore throat and an all-around sick feeling.

In young kids, it can be very serious, Fielding said.

Children with RSV, and particularly premature infants, can develop fever, a croupy cough, rapid breathing and cyanosis, the bluish tinge that skin gets when oxygen levels fall. It also can result in complications such as ear infections, bronchitis or pneumonia, he added.

During a conversation with reporters on Friday, U.S Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Thomas Frieden said that he thought many of the reports of rampant flu might reflect the large numbers of people visiting their doctors with stomach woes from norovirus or respiratory ills from RSV or even the common cold.

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16 comments

  • VaNiesha

    Oh my god – can we get a more objective report with comparable numbers that don't instigate fear and panic – super flu?

    5 deaths in California out of 38,041,430 – geez!

  • mark

    WOW!….THE NEGROES & MEXICANS & OTHER SPANISH SPEAKING MONGROLS KILL MORE THAN 5 PEOPLE IN 1 HOUR IN LA & CA EVERYDAY!……WHERE'S THAT HEADLINE?……LMFAO @ THESE PC NEWS MEDIA OUTLETS!……

  • Kristi H. Reyes

    just before I saw the check which was of $4698, I have faith …that…my best friend was truley bringing in money in their spare time at there computar.. there dads buddy started doing this for less than seventeen months and at present repaid the morgage on there house and got a great new volvo. go to, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  • Concerned

    FYI, the flu shot DOES NOT protect against RSV. Buy Black Edlerberry. 175mg 4 times daily. Half for children. Absolutely no negative side effects but it also hinders H1N1. Look it up.

  • brian

    I had those symptoms am just getting over the flu in which i caught jan 4 the best thing is 7 up once I put down one I started to feel better no joke and took rubin tusin if that did not work then I go see the DR
    but am still caughing but not as much also if your chest is tight you got a lot of flem get rid of all flem and blow the nose this will get the crud out of you

  • winny

    My 15 year old grandson was diagnosed with RSV got meds, but kept getting more ill…….went to another doctor and found out he had a full blown flu illness instead of RSV. He is very ill…….not much you can do for a virus but drink plenty of liquids and take ibuprofen.

  • anonymous

    Nothing to worry about…it's just your typical state-sponsered poisoned flu vaccine population reduction agenda with nice media propaganda thrown in….happens every winter…..you'll get used to it.