NEW YORK — A common respiratory virus that can make children and even some adults seriously ill has worried doctors as it emerged much earlier than usual this year and caused hospitalizations across the country. Causing high rates.

According to the CDC, nearly all children get this infection, diagnosed or not, before their second birthday. There is no vaccine or treatment.

Doctors say that about half a dozen states already have over-capacity for children’s hospital beds because of the abnormal flow. And now that many people have gotten used to the assumption that any cold-type illness is probably COVID-19 or the flu, pediatricians (and the CDC) want to make sure parents know about RSV. , about how to recognize symptoms and what to do in your children

What you need to know about RSV

What is RSV?

According to the CDC, an acronym for respiratory syncytial virus, RSV is a common illness that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but the virus can be serious, especially for infants and older adults.

The virus usually peaks in winter, but it begins to circulate this summer, surprising and worrying physicians, and possibly reflecting how the COVID pandemic has disrupted circulation patterns for conditions such as RSV. The CDC says the season typically begins between mid-September and mid-November and peaks between late December and mid-February.

Positive tests start decreasing, usually between mid-April and mid-May. The RSV season began earlier in Florida and lasted longer there than in other parts of the United States.

rsv infection data

RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia (lung infection) in children under 1 year of age in the United States.

According to the CDC, each year the RSV is approximately:

  • 2.1 million doctor visits among children under 5
  • 58,000 hospitalizations among children under 5
  • 177,000 hospitalizations among adults 65 years of age and older
  • 14,000 deaths in adults over 65
  • 100 to 300 deaths in children below 5 years
RSV: symptoms and prevention of respiratory virus affecting children in the US 1

According to the CDC, there is little comparative data available for this season at this time, based on testing limits and other factors.

For example, the five-week average of positive RSV PCR tests in New York has increased weekly since mid-April, when the previous season ended.

use: PCR stands for “Polymerase Chain Reaction”, It is a diagnostic test that allows the detection of a piece of genetic material of a pathogen.

The average for the week ended October 8 is 133,333, up from 41.4 at the beginning of August, when the CDC began seeing earlier trends than usual. This is compared to the five-week average of 4,333 positive PCR tests in New Jersey that ended that week on October 8. Connecticut data is incomplete. Read more state-by-state analysis here.

How to diagnose RSV and CUFeatherthey are theirsInNTOMAS?

Like COVID, RSV can be diagnosed by antigen or PCR testing. The most common diagnostic measure is a mouth swab or a blood test that evaluates the count of white blood cells, which are affected by the virus. In severe cases, additional tests such as a chest X-ray or CT scan may be needed to assess for possible pulmonary complications.

Symptoms are similar to those of COVID, the common cold, and the flu. According to the CDC, people usually show symptoms within four to six days of infection. These may include runny nose, cough, sneezing, fever, wheezing and loss of appetite. In particular, symptoms often appear in phases and do not appear all at once.

According to the CDC, almost all children will not have an RSV infection, diagnosed or not, by their second birthday. For very young children, irritability, decreased activity and difficulty breathing may be the only recognizable symptoms.

Parents are advised to call their pediatrician if their child is having difficulty breathing, is not drinking enough fluids, or is experiencing worsening symptoms. Dehydration and shortness of breath make severe cases and hospitalizations more likely. In the worst case, children may need to be intubated. In most cases, hospital stays last a few days.

How is RSV transmitted?

RSV transmission is similar to how diseases like COVID and colds spread.

The virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes; You get droplets of the microscopic virus when you cough or sneeze into your eyes, nose or mouth. They touch a surface that has the virus, for example, like a door knob, and if you touch your face without washing your hands, you’re exposed to the virus, just like someone else. Kiss the face of an infected child.

CUAHow long does RSV last in the system?

The infectious period typically lasts three to eight days, but in some cases involving infants or immunocompromised adults, RSV can spread for up to a month, even when patients no longer show symptoms.

Children are often exposed to RSV outside the home, in places like school or day care, and they can pass it on to family.

RSV can survive on hard surfaces such as crib rails and table tops for several hours, and generally for less time on soft surfaces such as handkerchiefs and hands.

Does RSV only affect children?

The CDC says you can get RSV at any age, but subsequent infections tend to be less severe.

People at higher risk for serious illness from RSV include premature infants, young children with congenital heart or chronic lung disease, people with weakened immune symptoms, and older adults, especially those with underlying heart or lung conditions.

RSV. treatment for

There is no specific treatment for RSV infection, but researchers are working to develop antivirals and vaccines.

A drug called palivizumab is available to prevent severe RSV disease in some children, but the CDC says it may not help cure or treat children who already have severe RSV-related illness and They cannot prevent infection.

I S. how can i reduceInSymptoms of RSV and How to Prevent It?

Over-the-counter fever reducers and pain relievers at local pharmacies and stores, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help control fever and pain, although parents should never give aspirin to their children.

Make sure infected people stay hydrated.

Here are the CDC’s tips on prevention, although some may sound familiar:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with the tissue or upper arm of your shirt, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with other people, such as kissing, shaking hands and sharing cups and eating utensils.
  • Wipe frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs and mobile devices.

When possible, people with cold-like symptoms should avoid interacting with children at high risk for severe RSV. If they can’t, they should follow prevention steps and make sure they don’t kiss high-risk babies when they have symptoms.

The CDC says parents with high-risk children are advised to take extra precautions.

They include:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your face with dirty hands
  • Limit the time you spend in daycare centers or other potentially infectious settings, especially during the fall, winter, and spring. This can help prevent infection and the spread of the virus during RSV season.

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