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Florida cases of RSV, disease that can be spread through kisses, on the rise, health officials say

Posted at 8:42 AM, Dec 04, 2019

A lot of new parents don't want people kissing their babies. They're not trying to be rude. Instead, they want to protect their kids from getting sick with a very contagious disease.

According to the Florida Department of Health, cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are on the rise in the Sunshine State.

RSV numbers in Florida right now are higher than they were at this time last year, health officials say.

Older children and adults with more mature immune systems aren’t affected as seriously by RSV, but they can still be transmitters. Babies, however, who have weaker immune systems, can suffer serious effects and complications.

RSV is spread through things like sneezes, coughs, or even kisses, and it’s prompted a warning from doctors like Chad Sanborn over the holidays.

"Family members who potentially want to be around the baby but may be sick, yes, don’t kiss the baby if at all possible," said Dr. Sanborn, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases.

In addition to not kissing babies, physicians also recommend you wash your hands often, dispose of tissues immediately after use, and cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.

This story was originally published by Chris Gilmore at WPTV.

Editor's Note: The headline of this story has been updated to reflect that RSV is not the kissing disease but can still be spread through kisses.