The state Department of Health Services is reporting 37 confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, so far this season, according to a weekly report out late last week.
That is a nearly 40 percent jump over the number of cases confirmed at this time last year. Thirteen of the cases are in Maricopa County. All but two of them are in children age 4 or younger. The cases reflect only laboratory-confirmed cases that have been reported to the state health department. There may be additional cases in the community that have not been tested.
Though it has cold-like symptoms, RSV is a respiratory illness that can be dangerous to very young children, especially premature babies, because of the thick mucus that is produced with this disease.
At the same time, the state has 20 confirmed cases of influenza this season, a big increase over last year at this time. In 2011, the first confirmed influenza case did not arrive until mid December.
Like RSV, most of the influenza cases — 12 — have been reported in Maricopa County. Since many people do not go to the doctor when they are ill, the number of influenza cases in the state may be higher, health officials said.
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