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Western Massachusetts reports RSV uptick as child pneumonia outbreak hits Ohio

An uptick in RSV cases is happening in western Massachusetts, leading some children to suffer from mild cases of pneumonia, according to a report.

Doctors in western Massachusetts are reporting a "whole lot" of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases this week as health officials in Ohio announced a child pneumonia outbreak in one county in their state. 

Dr. John Kelley of Redwood Pediatrics in East Longmeadow told Western Mass News that "this is the season for RSV, and we’re seeing a whole lot of it . . . a lot of kids with, you know, upper viral respiratory infections, cough, runny nose, some fevers and the thinking with RSV is that it can cause lower viral respiratory infections, so they get spread to your lungs." 

Kelley also told the station that children are suffering from walking pneumonia, described by the American Lung Association as a "non-medical term for a mild case of pneumonia." 

He said to Western Mass News that 80% of kids who develop that illness have RSV beforehand, while the other 20% of cases typically are linked to bacteria. 


The development comes as a pediatric pneumonia outbreak has been reported in Warren County, Ohio, which is located in the southwestern portion of the state. 

The Warren County Health District (WCHD) has recorded 142 cases of childhood pneumonia since August, which exceeds the average number seen in the county. 

"We do not think this is a novel/new respiratory disease but rather a large uptick in the number of pneumonia cases normally seen at one time," a WCHD spokesperson said in a Wednesday press release. 

"WCHD is working with the Ohio Department of Health, local children’s hospitals and primary care providers in hopes to determine a cause and further prevent the spread of illness," the press release added. 


So far, Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Mason, Ohio, has seen four patients who received some kind of care for pneumonia, a spokesperson told Fox News Digital.

The hospital has sent requested data to public health agencies. 

"Having 140 cases in one county is a bit more than we would normally expect," Dr. Robert Frenck, a pediatrician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s and director of the health system’s Vaccine Research Center, told Fox News Digital in an email. 

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia says pneumonia in children can be caused by either bacteria or various viruses, including RSV. 

Fox News’ Melissa Rudy contributed to this report. 

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