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Scanning electron micrograph of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) virions (colorized blue) and labeled with anti-RSV F protein/gold antibodies (colorized yellow). Photo: IMAGE POINT FR/NIH/NIAID/BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Doctors are warning about the spread of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, among infants and young children, NBC reports.

Why it matters: RSV, which usually spikes during winter months, is unexpectedly spreading, particularly in Southern states. The virus can cause severe illness in kids and older adults and kills as many as 500 children under 5 each year, per NBC.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory last month about the spread of RSV in parts of the south.

The big picture: Due to masking and social distancing over the last year during the worst parts of the pandemic, there was a drop in respiratory illnesses like RSV, but that break appears to be over, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.

  • "My speculation is that because we suppressed its normal circulation time during the winter, it’s sort of making up for lost time now," Dr. Claudette Poole, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham, told NBC.
  • If a child is diagnosed with RSV, doctors advise parents to monitor their breathing. Very young babies and children with underlying lung conditions or weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to RSV.

The bottom line: "We usually talk about RSV in the winter, but we need to be on the lookout now, even in the summer," Dr. Diana Peterson, a pediatrician at Ochsner Hospital for Children, told NBC.

Go deeper: Doctors see a delayed seasonal surge of RSV in children

Go deeper

Oct 7, 2021 - Health

Pfizer asks FDA to authorize COVID-19 vaccine for younger children

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech on Thursday said they submitted an official application asking the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Why it matters: If approved, it would become the first coronavirus vaccine for younger children. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has full FDA approval for people 16 and older and has an EUA for those between 12 and 15.

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.