GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – There has been a rise in respiratory illnesses in the state including the flu, COVID-19 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

RSV has been making headlines in several states including South Carolina with reports of a “surge” in respiratory illness.

Dr. Bruce Swords with Bon Secours St. Francis said the surge could be linked to society opening up more than years past and fewer people masking up during flu season.

Dr. Swords said RSV is common in children but is not a cause for concern unless the illness gets severe.

“Parents need to be concerned when kids appear to be in more distress than a simple cold,” said Swords and continued to state a runny nose and simple cough is “not as concerning as if they appear struggling for breath or have a deep, maybe productive cough.”

Dr. Swords said RSV is highly contagious and difficult to prevent, but treating it can be as simple as hydrating and resting at home if your child’s illness isn’t serious.

“I’d be more concerned with keeping them hydrated and giving them all the fluids they want,” said Swords, “other than that, it’s just reasonable to keep an eye on them and not worry too much. They’re going to get over RSV almost all of the time.”

Dr. Swords said certain groups of kids and babies are more at risk of the virus, especially premature babies younger than 32 weeks with underdeveloped lungs.