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Doctors in Lexington and Louisville have reported an uptick in RSV cases this year.  

UK Healthcare has noticed an increase in the illness over the past couple of weeks.  Between UK Hospital and KCH there have been an average of five to 15 positive RSV lab tests per day (including both children and adults), Dr. Scottie Day said. That is higher than normal.

Doctors say the symptoms of RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, are a lot like the common cold- a runny nose, a loss of appetite and coughing.

Now, we’re hearing from a former Lexington TV reporter about her infant son’s experience with the virus and the five terrifying days he spent in the hospital.

Dealing with sick kids was nothing new to Shanisty Ireland in the fall of 2016.  She was already a mother of two and had battled through symptoms of common colds and stomach bugs countless times.  But when it hit her 6-week old infant son Adam, this time it felt different.

“It was this cough. A cough that I can’t even describe it,” Ireland says.  “The sound should not be coming from a 6-week old baby”

The cough was coupled with a high fever.  She noticed that he wouldn’t take a bottle or breastfeed.  Adam’s diapers were no longer wet and there was a blue tint to his lips.  Ireland says Adam hadn’t opened his eyes in days and his breathing was extremely labored.

“You can see his rib cage, there’s a V in his neck where he’s visibly struggling to breathe. And that’s when I really got nervous,” says Ireland.

At the hospital, Adam was whisked away to the emergency room where he spent five days hooked up to IV’s and lines that helped him breathe.  Ireland was told by doctor’s that had she waited any longer to get him there, the outcome could’ve been much different. Adam is three years old now, but still needs breathing treatments twice a day.

“All from this virus that I’d never heard of when he was just six weeks old.”

While very young children are susceptible to the virus, so are the elderly or people with an already compromised immune system.  Ireland says if you see RSV symptoms in your child, don’t be afraid to press your pediatrician for a test.  And if you’d like to read more about her experience, and what’s she doing to further research on the illness, head over to her blog.