Multiple viruses are spreading in southwest Missouri area, doctors say


CARTHAGE, Mo. — There’s more than one virus for patients and seniors to be concerned about in southwest Missouri, and its due in part to the coronavirus.

Dr. John Venter, a Mercy Pulmonologist, says there are now two other viruses that are spiking in the area and can cause infants and small kids to get sick.

The doctor says dropping mask mandates are to blame.

“The kiddies and adults were not exposed to the RSV, so after we relaxed those restrictions, all of the sudden, the delayed RSV showed up,” Dr. Venter said.

RSV is short for respiratory syncytial virus, and it usually doesn’t show up until the winter months.

But because so many were wearing masks, that virus didn’t spread when it usually does, and now that the masks have come off, Venter says kids are getting exposed to it.

The other virus spreading through the area and affecting kids, according to Venter, is the one that caused croup, otherwise known as parainfluenza.

Since taking masks off lead to the problem, he says the solution is pretty simple.

“I would prefer my children, or in my case grandchildren, to wear masks at school. If it’s optional, that means there’s certainly no penalty for wearing it.” Dr. Venter said.

In some cases, RSV can be serious enough to cause young children and older adults to be hospitalized.

In fact, he’s treated some older patients that have had both at the same time.

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