JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Children’s of Mississippi saw a record number of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases this August. Now, health officials are encouraging parents and adults to take precautions to avoid catching the illness.

Hospital leaders said three-month-old Wyatt, of Pearl, was admitted to the hospital on August 11 with a case of RSV. “We couldn’t wake him up. He was lethargic. Four days later, he was intubated and in intensive care,” said his mother.

The hospital saw 52 RSV cases in the month of August. RSV is a common virus that brings on cold-like symptoms and can cause serious illness in young children and older adults. It spreads through droplets in the air when a person coughs or sneezes.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, RSV causes 58,000 hospitalizations with 100 to 500 deaths in children younger than five every year.

In children younger than six-months-old, RSV causes irritability, poor feeding, lethargy, apnea and sometimes fever. Older infants and young children will cough, sneeze, have a fever and sometimes wheeze.

Parents should call their pediatrician or healthcare provider if they or their children are having difficulty breathing or experiencing worsening symptoms. There is no vaccine against RSV, and treatment includes making sure children are getting enough oxygen and aren’t becoming dehydrated.

To fight RSV, officials recommend good hand hygiene and keeping children home from school or daycare when ill. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, keeping hands away from the face, coughing or sneezing into the inside of the elbow and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces people frequently touch Like countertops and doorknobs will prevent the spread of RSV.

Wyatt is recovering from pneumonia, a collapsed lung and and bacterial infection, “but it all started with RSV,” said hospital leaders.