RSV has a high attack rate — the term scientists use for the chances that a susceptible person will get the infection if exposed to it. That, plus our generally poor defenses against it, explain the frequent epidemics. Every year a new crop of susceptible infants enters the population.
We have never had any specific treatment that works for RSV bronchiolitis. All we can do is what we call supportive care — oxygen, some breathing treatments (which usually don’t help much), IV fluids if the child is too sick to eat, and a few things we can do to help with mucus clearance. But now that may be changing. A recent study looked at a new drug to kill the RSV virus directly, something we’ve never had before.
Can we do anything to treat this illness, make the symptoms better, make it go away faster? Sadly, the answer is no. I’ve been taking care of children with RSV for 30 years, and I’ve seen a long list of things tried — breathing treatments, anti-viral medicines, steroids, medicines intended to open up the small airways. None of them work very well, if at all.
Respiratory syncitial virus (RSV)-associated bronchiolitis is the leading cause of childhood hospitalization worldwide. However, the development of specific therapies is limited by poor understanding of disease pathogenesis.
RSV is serious, and it’s critical we’re educated! Awareness is key when it comes to preventing RSV! Knowledge is power, and the more we know about the disease, the better we can protect our children. RSV should be talked about all year, not just during RSV season when it’s too late for some parents.
The virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted by sneezing, coughing and contact with the hands of a person with a cold or contaminated objects.
Welcome to the RSV Info Center where you'll find a comprehensive overview about the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in children.
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Yep, it's time. Time to once again remind everyone that although our children look absolutely normal, their prematurity still stands in the way of them being able to effectively fight a virus such as RSV or the flu.
Every parent asks: can we do anything to treat this illness, make the symptoms better, make it go away faster? Sadly, the answer is no. I’ve been taking care of children with RSV for 30 years, and I’ve seen a long list of things tried — breathing treatments, anti-viral medicines, steroids, medicines intended to open up the small airways. None of them work. The research of the past few years is conclusive — all we can do is wait for the infection to pass, meanwhile supporting breathing as needed with oxygen, clearing the lungs of mucous, and sometimes a mechanical breathing machine in severe cases.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects most children sooner or later (usually before the age of 2). It often starts out with cold symptoms. In fact, for many babies and young children, the virus is no more troublesome than a cold.
RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia in children under 1 year of age in the United States. In addition, RSV is more often being recognized as an important cause of respiratory illness in older adults.
In adults, it may only produce symptoms of a common cold, such as a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, mild headache, cough, fever, and a general feeling of being ill. But in premature babies and kids with diseases that affect the lungs, heart, or immune system, RSV infections can lead to other more serious illnesses.
Although palivizumab may help prevent serious complications of RSV infection, it is not used to treat RSV. There is no medication to treat the virus itself. Therefore, caring for a baby with RSV infection involves treating symptoms of infection and its effects on the respiratory system.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus. This virus causes mild, cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children. It can cause serious respiratory infections in young babies, especially those in certain high-risk groups.