The flu and RSV run similar cycles and tend to hit their peak in the mid- to late winter,

The Berkshire Eagle  reports that unlike the flu, there isn't a vaccination to protect against RSV, which works its way through daycares, affecting children each year according to Everett Lamm, chief medical officer of Community Health Systems. "And if folks are really, really ill, they should not go to school or work."

RSV presents like a common cold, has an incubation period of four to six days and is usually not serious. But it can be dangerous for infants who were born prematurely or who have compromised respiratory systems.

Most children will have gotten RSV by their second birthday, and will get it again in their life, he said.

The infection can make its way to the lower respiratory system and make breathing difficult.

For American children younger than 1, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Berkshire County, there already have been several cases of babies being hospitalized for the illness this season, but it doesn't appear to be anything out of the norm.

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