Science & Technology

4 Things Parents Should Know About RSV This Year

One year after COVID-19 prophylaxis, where virtually no cases of respiratory syncytial virus were seen, common childhood illnesses returned to revenge, and medical professionals are concerned.

“Symptoms are virtually synonymous with common colds, such as runny nose, stuffy nose, and perhaps a slight cough, but RSV has a much higher risk of progressing from an upper respiratory tract cold to a lower respiratory tract infection. “Patrick Gavigan, a pediatric infection, said. Penn State Health Children’s Hospital Illness Doctor. “This includes viral pneumonia Or bronchiolitis with inflammation of the small airways in the lungs. “

The RSV season usually lasts from October to March, but this year in Pennsylvania, cases began to occur earlier in July and even earlier in the country, Gavigan said.

Already, more than 10% of virus tests have returned to RSV positive. On average, about 3% of tests return positive, he says, and the season has just begun. At the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, RSV positivity is even higher, at 13% to 16% in the last three weeks, said Wallace Green, director of the Medical Center’s Institute for Diagnostic Virology.

hospitalization Many children with RSV are also admitted to a children’s hospital, according to Gavigan.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Control issued a health advisory in June, highlighting that older infants were probably not exposed to normal levels of RSV, which could increase their risk of severe RSV-related illness. I warned my house. Last 15 months.

Here are four things parents need to know:

1. Who is most at risk?

“By the age of two, most children are infected with RSV and symptoms usually peak in 5 to 7 days before they resolve spontaneously,” says Gavigan. “But 1% to 3% of children will be hospitalized with it.”

The children at greatest risk of serious illness due to RSV are:

  • Premature babies born less than 29 weeks gestation.
  • Very young babies, especially babies under 6 months old.
  • Children under 2 years with chronic lung disease or Congenital heart disease..
  • Children with weakened immunity.
  • Children with neuromuscular disorders.

In hospitals, children may be given oxygen and IV drip. Thankfully, RSV deaths are rare, says Gavigan.

2. What is the RSV warning signal?

The symptoms are so similar that parents should carefully monitor their children for signs of difficulty eating or breathing.

“Are they breathing fast or seeing them inhaling a lot to breathe? Apnea (pause of breathing) is a premature baby with RSV or less than a month old It’s common in babies, “he says. “Are they feeding enough to maintain hydration? Anorexia is common, or they are very enthusiastic about breathing while eating.”

Gavigan says the only way to be sure that your child has a cold or has RSV is to test with a nasal swab. “In a normal year, we don’t test that often, but this year it’s different,” he says.

Children at high risk of RSV complications are often prescribed a monthly injection of the monoclonal antibody palivizumab. antibody This helps prevent serious lung infections and hospitalizations associated with RSV, says Gavigan.

3. How does COVID-19 affect RSV?

Little is known about the effects of coinfection, as COVID-19 raged last year and there were not many cases of RSV. But now that precautions have been relaxed, doctors have the courage to know what can happen.

“In the field of pediatrics, there is an increase in COVID, influenza And RSV, the resources available to hospitals can quickly be exhausted, “says Gavigan. “This is certainly another reason to keep children masked. RSV mainly affects children under the age of two, but older children act as spreaders, making it a younger sibling. You can take it home with you. “

This can also endanger grandparents, as older people who may have weakened immunity and may have other underlying conditions are also at increased risk of RSV-related complications. Yes, says Gavigan.

4. Can it be prevented?

The absence of RSV and influenza last season is evidence that precautions can help prevent the spread of bacteria. “”wash hands Frequently, wear a mask and stay home if you are ill and get a flu shot, “says Gavigan. Children over 6 months can be safely vaccinated against the flu.

Although RSV spreads through respiratory droplets, it can inhabit surfaces and objects, so disinfecting high-contact areas such as doorknobs and countertops is an important alternative to prevent infection. ..

sauce: Pennsylvania State University

4 Things Parents Should Know About RSV This Year

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