Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a viral infection, are increasingly being reported amongst adults, say doctors. It was earlier considered predominantly a childhood illness.

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Bengaluru: There is an alarmingly steep rise in the number of cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), that doctors are seeing lately.

Bangalore Mirror reports that city doctors are seeing an increase in RSV-infected ADULT patients in hospitals, which is unusual as RSV used to be predominantly seen among children earlier.

RSV infiltrates the body's defence mechanism after it gains entry through the eyes, nose, or mouth and is extremely contagious. Like most respiratory virus-driven illnesses, RSV is transmitted through the air and of course through touch like operating commonly shared contaminated (unsanitised) items like door handles, phones, keyboards, etc. that have been touched by an infected person.

Through air, it spreads via droplets that one breathes in a closed and not well-ventilated area where an infected person may have coughed or sneezed.

Doctors say that RSV is a member of the Paramyxoviridae family and is highly contagious. It can also survive on surfaces for a period, allowing indirect transmission through contact with contaminated objects.

  1. What are the symptoms of RSV?
  2. Coughing
  3. Sneezing
  4. Runny Nose
  5. Low Grade Fever
  6. Sore Throat
  7. Swelling In the Throat
  8. Headache
  9. Breathing Difficulty
  10. Weakness

In severe cases, are there more symptoms?

  • Notable Respiratory Distress
  • Wheezing or Whistling Sound While Breathing
  • Changes in Skin Colour (skin turns bluish as lack of Oxygen robs it of the healthy look)

What about vaccines and treatment?

Doctors say there are no vaccines currently available in India for RSV. However, it is important to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment as viral illnesses can make you susceptible to other opportunistic infections.

Preventive measures:

  1. Hand hygiene is important. Wash hands often with soap and water and use a clean, personal towel to dry hands.
  2. Wash hands, especially after touching surfaces or items that may have been used by others.
  3. If you have a cold, cough, fever, etc. avoid going out in public as you may become the carrier to others.
  4. Similarly, stay away from those who are suffering from such symptoms.
  5. If you smoke, this is the time to quit the habit forever.
  6. Avoid sharing utensils with others who may have contracted the Respiratory Syncytial Virus but are asymptomatic.
  7. Keep your surroundings clean.
  8. Avoid hanging out at or visiting public and crowded places such as malls, film theatres, etc.

Please note is not medical advice but just general health information. So, if you suspect any health issues, please consult your doctor and he/she knows best.

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