RSV Season is Here
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is an inflammation of the small
airways of the lungs, which can lead to very serious problems. The
infection can cause cold-like symptoms which include cough, runny
nose, wheezing and breathing difficulties that can last anywhere
from one to two weeks. Sometimes it affects babies who are born
premature or children younger than two years who are born with
heart and/or lung diseases, as well as children who also have
immune systems that are weakened due to illnesses.
More than 50% of infants experience an RSV infection within the
first year of life. Common modes of transmission are large aerosol
particles generated by coughing from infected individuals, and direct
physical contact with contaminated secretions. Sometimes patients
are hospitalized. If not treated, RSV can cause atelectasis and
pneumonia in a child.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a disease that impacts millions of
children each year. Supportive care includes nutrition, hydration,
clearing of nasal secretions, and oxygen if needed. Good
hand-washing techniques and contact isolation should be conducted to prevent RSV transmission. Those with risk factors, who meet criteria, should take extra precautions to prevent RSV infections.