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  Surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that in late November the common respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) rose to epidemic levels in Louisiana — at least 10 percent of all children in the state tested for RSV were positive for two consecutive weeks.

  RSV is very common and infects nearly all children at some time by the age of 2. It generally causes moderate-to-severe cold symptoms, but can develop into a serious respiratory illness requiring hospitalization in premature infants and children with certain medical conditions. CDC statistics show RSV is responsible for one of every 10 visits to a pediatrician and one of every 38 emergency room visits. The American Academy of Pediatrics says RSV season typically runs from November through April. — Kandace Power Graves

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