Since its discovery in 1956, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been acknowledged as one of the most frequent causes of pediatric sickness. The common respiratory virus is known to cause mild, cold-like symptoms and is one of the drivers for pneumonia and bronchiolitis (inflammation of the tiny airways in the lung). As per our analysis, RSV is known to affect more than 60 million people each year.
RSV typically results in mild cold-like symptoms in adults and older kids. These may consist of:
The following symptoms may be exhibited in infants affected with a severe RSV infection:
The lower respiratory tract can get infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), leading to pneumonia or bronchiolitis. Some warning signs and symptoms include:
Respiratory syncytial virus has no vaccination. However, the following lifestyle choices can aid in limiting the spread of this infection:
RSV spreads quickly as the disease is airborne. RSV infected individuals are typically contagious for 3 to 8 days and may become contagious up to two days prior to the onset of symptoms. Even after the symptoms of the virus have subsided, some newborns and individuals with weakened immune systems may still be contagious for up to four weeks. This is because their immune systems are less effective at eliminating the virus.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests giving high-risk newborns and young children a monoclonal antibody called Palivizumab (Synagis). Palivizumab is administered as an injection, and can provide protection for some newborns and kids younger than 2 years old who are at a high risk of developing significant complications from RSV. The initial injection is administered at the beginning of the RSV season, and subsequent monthly injections are administered all season. Only preventing RSV infection is helped by this drug. Once symptoms start to appear, it does not help or treat it. As an alternative, maternal immunization (MI) has been suggested. According to studies, receiving a vaccine in the final trimester of pregnancy may increase the amount of RSV antibodies that are passed from the mother to the fetus, thereby protecting the infant from RSV for the first few weeks or months of life. For instance, high-risk newborns and kids have been taken Synagis for nearly 20 years to lower the risk of RSV-related hospitalizations.
RSV infections often go away on their own after a week or two. However, at the current moment, no specific treatment for RSV infection are available. Researchers around the globe are working to develop vaccines and antivirals to treat this viral disease. An elderly person may require hospitalization and undergo a chronic respiratory disease treatment, if they are dehydrated or experiencing breathing difficulties. Infants under six months of age are treated similarly. In the direst situations, a patient might require additional oxygen, intravenous fluids (if they are unable to take enough food or liquids), or intubation with mechanical ventilation. However, following actions can be taken to ease the symptoms:
There are numerous lab tests available to confirm RSV infection. Antigen detection assays and RT-PCR are both reliable ways to identify RSV infection in newborns, young children, older children, and adults. However, older children and adults may have lower virus loads in their respiratory sample, making antigen testing insensitive for them. For already infected individuals, respiratory monitoring devices are being used to monitor the health of the individuals.
Respiratory syncytial virus complications include:
In the US and other nations with comparable climates, RSV circulation frequently starts in the fall and peaks in the winter. Additionally, compared to most other states, Florida suffers an earlier start and longer duration of the RSV season. Before 2020, RSV seasonal trends in the US were impressively reliable. Among the United States, RSV is the most frequent cause of bronchiolitis in children under the age of one. According to estimates, RSV infection kills 14,000 persons over 65 each year in the United States. The RSV Hospitalization Monitoring Network (RSV-NET), a population-based surveillance system, monitors hospitalizations for respiratory syncytial virus in children and adults in the US.