Many viruses are making Alaskans sick this winter, but the virus primarily responsible for filling up our clinics, emergency departments, and pediatric hospital beds this season is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Each year in the United States, RSV leads to an average 58,000 hospitalizations with 100-500 deaths among children younger than 5 years old and 177,000 hospitalizations with 14,000 deaths among adults aged 65 years and older.

Some winters are worse than others for seasonal viruses and this year, some very young children are being exposed to RSV and other respiratory infections for the first time after avoiding them during the pandemic.

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