A contagious virus that can cause respiratory issues in both adults and children is on the rise.

Erie County physicians are seeing a spike in cases.

It's called respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

According to the Erie County Department of Health, since January, it has had 400 reported cases.

The viral infection spreads from person to person, through coughing and sneezing.  It causes severe cold symptoms in adults, which include runny nose, coughing, sneezing, and body aches.

In infants, it can cause major breathing complications, often requiring hospitalization.

Local health experts urge everyone to take precautions, to prevent the virus from spreading.

"Cover sneezes and coughs, wash hands frequently, stay away from people who are ill,” said Charlotte Berringer, R.N., director of nursing for the Department of Health.  “If you or your child is ill, keep yourself and child away from people for that time being.”

According to Berringer, Erie County is also seeing a near record number of flu cases.