- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - State health officials report a surge in the number of cases in Arizona of a highly contagious respiratory illness that strikes young children.

The state Department of Health Service’s latest surveillance report for RSV says the number of lab-confirmed reported cases has tripled so far in the current season of fall 2014 to spring of 2015 compared with the previous season.

The department reports 2,613 cases so far this season, up from 783 the previous season. That’s an increase of 234 percent.

RSV is short for respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH’-uhl) virus.

It’s a common virus that causes only mild cold-like symptoms for most children but can cause pneumonia and result in hospitalization.

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