Surge in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Queensland aged care homes

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Queensland Health has seen a rise in the number of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases in aged care with experts saying it’s the result of more people seeing their doctors when they suffer cold-like symptoms.

Sunshine Coast physician Penny Hutchinson told the ABC the virus is generally more prevalent in children but it had also infiltrated the aged care sector.

“We have had outbreaks of RSV in aged care facilities and that’s occurring right across the state, we’re seeing outbreaks of this virus in childcare centres at the moment as well,” Dr Hutchinson said.

The virus has the potential to cause pneumonia and bronchitis, which can be fatal.

It’s believed the rise in confirmed cases is the result of more people getting tested for flu-like symptoms as part of the battle against COVID-19.

Experts said much like COVID-19 the best way to prevent the spread of RSV was to maintain a clean environment, routinely washing hands and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough.

Queensland Health has not released the figures into how many aged care residents have contracted the virus.


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