Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), what is it and what are the warning signs in children?

The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the viruses that will circulate in the winter on a larger scale than the virus COVID-19 and it is a disease that causes infections of the lungs and respiratory system mainly in children from approx 2 years old.

What is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild symptoms similar to those of the virus cold. Most people recover in a week or two, but it can be serious, especially in infants and older adults.

This condition is the most common cause bronchiolitis (inflammation of small airways in the lungs) i pneumonia (lung infection) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States.

What are the symptoms of this disease?

The CDC states that people infected with the virus respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) they usually show symptoms within 4 to 6 days after being infected. Symptoms of infection usually include:

  • Moqueo
  • decreased appetite
  • That
  • sneezing
  • Fever
  • wheezing

Bad symptom they appear in stages and not all at once. In very small babies, the only symptoms may be restlessness, reduced activity and lack of air. “Almost all children will have an infection with VSR before the age of two”, says the health agency.

What are the risk factors for RSV?

According to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, United States, 2 years old who have contracted the disease can become infected again VSR more than once. Children who attend kindergarten or have siblings who attend school are at increased risk of exposure and re-infection.

Budding season for VSR It is from autumn to late spring. People at higher risk of serious or sometimes life-threatening infections, including:

  • Babies, especially premature babies or those 6 months or younger
  • Children who have congenital heart disease or chronic lung disease
  • Children or adults with weakened immune systems due to diseases such as cancer or chemotherapy
  • Children who have neuromuscular disorders, such as muscular dystrophy
  • Adults with heart or lung disease
  • Elderly people, especially those 65 and older

What are the complications of respiratory syncytial virus?

Because VRS produce bronchiolitis Mr pneumoniathis disease can cause complications. Healthy adults and infected infants usually do not need to be hospitalized, but some people, especially older adults and infants younger than 6 months, may need hospitalized if they have difficulty breathing or become dehydrated.

In the most severe cases, the person may need supplemental oxygen or intravenous fluids (if they cannot eat or drink enough) or intubation (insertion of a breathing tube through the mouth into the trachea) with mechanical ventilation (a machine to help breathe). In most cases, hospitalization it only lasts a few days.

Causes, prevention and treatment tips for RSV

Organization Healthy children points out that it is VSR it behaves like a virus Cold: Spread from one person to another. It enters the body through the nose or eyes or often through direct contact with people, dirty hands and dirty objects or surfaces.

In that sense, respiratory syncytial virus It is similar to a fever, except that there is no cure, so the following measures are recommended to reduce the symptoms:

  • Nasal saline solutions for better breathing
  • Air humidifiers with fresh mist (steam)
  • Frequent food and liquid intake

On the other hand, the Mayo Clinic recommends lconstant hand washingavoid exposure, keep objects clean, do not share glasses with other people, do not smoke and wash toys regularly to prevent possible contamination VSR.

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