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Respiratory syncytial virus


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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes
mild, cold-like symptoms in adults and older children. However, it can cause
serious problems in young babies, including pneumonia and severe breathing
problems. In rare cases it can lead to death. Premature babies and those with
other health problems have the highest risk. A child with RSV may have a fever,
stuffy nose, cough and trouble breathing. Tests can tell if your child has the

RSV easily spreads from person to person.
You can get it from direct contact with someone who has it or it by touching
infected objects such as toys or surfaces such as countertops. Washing your
hands often and not sharing eating and drinking utensils are simple ways to
help prevent the spread of RSV infection. There is currently no vaccine for

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Respiratory syncytial virus

  1. 1. Fitango Education Health Topics Respiratory syncytial virus
  2. 2. OverviewRespiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causesmild, cold-like symptoms in adults and olderchildren. However, it can causeserious problems in young babies, includingpneumonia and severe breathing 1
  3. 3. Overviewproblems. In rare cases it can lead to death.Premature babies and those withother health problems have the highest risk. Achild with RSV may have a fever,stuffy nose, cough and trouble breathing. Tests cantell if your child has thevirus. 2
  4. 4. OverviewRSV easily spreads from person to person.You can get it from direct contact with someonewho has it or it by touchinginfected objects such as toys or surfaces such ascountertops. Washing yourhands often and not sharing eating and drinkingutensils are simple ways to 3
  5. 5. Overviewhelp prevent the spread of RSV infection. There iscurrently no vaccine forRSV. 4
  6. 6. FactsRSV typically causes cold-like symptomssuch as a runny nose, cough, and congestion.Fevers are common. The infectioncan progress to the lower respiratory tract to causemore severe illness such 5
  7. 7. Factsas bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airwaysin the lung) or pneumoniain otherwise healthy infants and young children.RSV is highly contagious through closecontact with infected people, and it can live ontoys and other surfaces for 6
  8. 8. Factsseveral hours.Most children will have an RSV infection bythe time they are 2 years old, and most will getbetter on their own within 8to 15 days.Every year, 75,000 to 125,000 children in 7
  9. 9. Factsthe United States are admitted to the hospital forRSV infections.For most children, fluids are the besttreatment. Bronchodilators, medicines prescribedto help reduce airwayresistance, may ease breathing in some cases.Antibiotics do not work against 8
  10. 10. FactsRSV, but a healthcare providermay prescribe them for complicationsthat develop because of RSV.Although deaths are relatively rare, RSVcan be life-threatening for immune-compromisedpeople, including premature 9
  11. 11. Factsinfants, young children with heart and lungproblems, and the elderly.Researchers are working toward a vaccine,but none currently exists. 10
  12. 12. CausesRSV is very contagious. It is transmittedthrough direct contact with nasal droplets from aperson who is infected.RSV also can stay on environmentalsurfaces, such as doorknobs, toys, 11
  13. 13. Causesand hands, for several hours. This means itcan easily be spread in schoolclassrooms and daycare centers and broughthome to other children who livethere. The time between when a person is infectedand when they 12
  14. 14. Causeshave symptoms is about 4 to 6 days.BecauseRSV does not give protectionfrom future infections, people can getRSV many times—even during asingle season. The first infection is usually the mostsevere. After that, 13
  15. 15. Causesany infections generally have mildersymptoms. 14
  16. 16. SymptomsMost children have had RSV by the time theyare 2 years old, but many parents might not evenrealize it. That’s because RSVsymptoms are very much like the symptoms of amild-to-severe cold: runny nose, 15
  17. 17. Symptomscough, mild fever, and sore throat. Infants with RSValso might have lessappetite than usual and be tired or fussy.Sometimes, because congestion isheavy, infants can’t feed very well, and they maybecome dehydrated (have a 16
  18. 18. Symptomslower than normal amount of fluids in the body).Most people will have symptomsabout 4 to 6 days after being exposed to the virus.However, RSV can be particularly dangerous 17
  19. 19. Symptomsin premature infants and in children withcongenital heart disease or chroniclung disease, because the infection can developinto life-threateningpneumonia. It can also be dangerous for theelderly and people with compromisedimmune systems. 18
  20. 20. SymptomsMost people with RSV’s cold-like symptomsdo not necessarily need to visit a healthcareprovider. But if you or yourchild have any of the following symptoms, youshould call your healthcareprovider immediately: 19
  21. 21. Symptoms-- Trouble breathing-- Rapid breathing-- Episodes of sleep apnea (when breathingstops for a short time)-- Wheezing that can be heard 20
  22. 22. Symptoms-- High fever-- Cough with green or yellow mucus 21
  23. 23. DiagnosisMost people with RSV will simply have arunny nose and a cough and dont need to visit ahealthcare provider. The virusgenerally runs its course with the help of hometreatments. In fact, 22
  24. 24. Diagnosisin healthy children, it’s often not necessaryto find out whetherthey have RSV or the common cold because thetreatment is the same. 23
  25. 25. Diagnosischildren with heart and lung problems, the elderly,and people with weakenedimmune systems—to treat RSV properly,a healthcare provider mayneed to diagnose the illness. Generally, ahealthcare provider can use a 24
  26. 26. Diagnosisnasal swab or nasal wash to diagnose RSV.Sometimes, they use a chest X-ray oroxygen saturation test to check for lungcongestion. 25
  27. 27. TreatmentTo treat RSV is to treat its symptoms.Drinking electrolyte-replacing fluids—not sugarysodas or sportsdrinks—regularly will prevent dehydration(abnormal loss of body fluids). 26
  28. 28. TreatmentAcetaminophen (Tylenol, for example) will help toreduce fever and relieve headache.Note that children with viral illnesses such as RSVshould never take aspirin.In these cases, aspirin can lead to the potentiallyfatal Reye’s syndrome. 27
  29. 29. TreatmentYou should encourage children in your careto blow their noses, and you can use a bulb syringein infants to suction nasalpassages clear of mucus. Plenty of rest will helpkeep children comfortableuntil they get better. Good hand washing canprevent spread the virus. 28
  30. 30. TreatmentIn more severe cases, people with RSV mightneed treatment to help them breathe.Some healthcare providers mayprescribe a medicine called a bronchodilator tohelp open airways (tubes that 29
  31. 31. Treatmentmove air from the mouth and nose into the lungs). 30
  32. 32. PreventionResearchers have been working towardan RSV vaccine since the 1950s, but novaccine is yet licensed for use.The best way to prevent RSV is good hygiene andinfection-control practices, 31
  33. 33. Preventionsuch as washing your hands frequently with soapand water and avoiding sharingfood, cups, or utensils with infected people. Usinghand disinfectants will alsokill the virus. 32
  34. 34. PreventionHealthcare providers may give infants athigh risk for serious RSV infection or complicationsSynagis (palivizumab).Healthcare providers give such infants Synagis inmonthly injections during theentire RSV season, because each injection givesprotection for only 30 days. 33
  35. 35. Prevention 34