HEATH NOW -Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

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What is respiratory syncytial virus?

 HEATH NOW -Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Respiratory syncytial virus, also known as respiratory syncytial virus, is a common viral disease. It usually causes mild cold-like symptoms. But it can cause serious lung infections, especially in babies, older adults, and people with serious medical problems.

How is respiratory syncytial virus transmitted?

Respiratory syncytial virus is transmitted from person to person through:

  • The air when coughing and sneezing
  • Direct contact, such as kissing the face of a child with the virus
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

In general, people with an respiratory syncytial virus infection are contagious for 3 to 8 days. But sometimes babies and people with weakened immune systems can continue to spread the virus for 4 weeks.

 HEATH NOW -Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Who is at risk for respiratory syncytial virus infections?

Respiratory syncytial virus can affect people of all ages. But it is very common in young children. Almost all children become infected with RSV by age 2. Respiratory syncytial virus infections in the United States generally occur during the fall, winter, or spring.

Those who are most at risk of severe respiratory syncytial virus infection are:

  • infants
  • Older adults, especially people 65 and older
  • People with chronic medical conditions such as heart or lung disease
  • People with weakened immune systems.

What are the symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus infections?

In general, the symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus infection begin 4 to 6 days after infection. These include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • little appetite
  • Cough
  • sneezing
  • Fever
  • wheezing

In general, these symptoms appear in stages rather than all at once. In very young babies, the only symptoms may be irritability, decreased activity, and shortness of breath.

RSV can also cause more serious infections, especially in people at high risk. These infections include bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs).

How are respiratory syncytial virus infections diagnosed?

To make a diagnosis, the health professional may use:

  • Your medical history, including questions about your symptoms
  • a physical exam
  • laboratory test of nasal fluid or other respiratory sample to check for the presence of the virus. In general, this is done for people with severe infection
  • Tests to detect complications in people with severe infection. May include a chest X-ray and blood and urine tests

What are the treatments for respiratory syncytial virus infections?

There is no specific treatment for respiratory syncytial virus infection. Most infections go away on their own in 1 to 2 weeks. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with fever and pain. However, children should not be given aspirin. Also do not give cough medicine to children under 4 years of age. It is also important to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration .

Some people with severe infection may need to be hospitalized, where they may be given oxygen , a breathing tube, or a ventilator.

Can respiratory syncytial virus infections be prevented?

There are currently no vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus. But you may be able to lower your risk of getting or spreading an respiratory syncytial virus infection if you:

  • Washes hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, shaking hands, and sharing cups and eating utensils if you are sick or if other people are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Coughs and sneezes are covered with a tissue. Then discard the tissue and wash your hands
  • stays home when sick

There is a medication to help prevent RSV in certain infants and children who are at risk of developing a severe condition. For example, they may be at high risk because:

The drug is administered by injection monthly during the respiratory syncytial virus season. It can help prevent a severe respiratory syncytial virus condition, but it cannot cure or treat children who already have it. It also cannot prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection.

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