RSV infections rising among children: What is respiratory syncytial virus? Know symptoms, treatment | File Photo

Amid Covid-19 resurgence and rise in flu cases, doctors have also observed infections of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) rising among children. A highly contagious virus, RSV causes respiratory infections, especially in young children. Doctors are seeing a spike in RSV cases, not just among young children but also infants.

“In changing weather, along with Covid-19 and the flu, we are witnessing a spike in cases of RSV, and not only young children but even infants are getting affected by it,” Dr RD Srivastava, HoD and Senior Consultant in Pediatric Medicine and Neonatology at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, Paschim Vihar, Delhi was quoted as saying by IANS.

What is RSV? How does it spread?

Respiratory syncytial virus is a highly contagious virus. It is transmitted via contact with droplets from the nose or throat of a person already infected. It can also spread from touching surfaces that are contaminated with RSV. While it is a common winter virus and causes mild cough and cold usually, it can sometimes develop into serious issues like bronchiolitis and pneumonia, especially in young children.

What are the symptoms of RSV?

The symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus include fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, ear ache, headache and breathing issues.

How to prevent RSV infection?

The prevention tips are similar to what people have been advised during Covid pandemic. This includes frequently washing hands, avoiding contact with persons suffering from respiratory infections, keeping young children and infants away from crowded areas, covering mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing. Those at risk should be vaccinated.

“Prevention is the key to dealing with this. Prevention includes frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with people who have respiratory infections, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, keeping infants and young children away from crowds and people with respiratory infections, and vaccination for those at high risk,” Dr Roli Munshi, Consultant - Paediatrics at Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital Delhi, told IANS. People should take their children to a paediatrician for proper evaluation and treatment if they experience respiratory infection symptoms, Dr Munshi added.


The treatment in RSV is “supportive care” which includes “rest, fluids, fever-reducing medications, over-the-counter cold and cough medications, humidifiers or saline nasal drops, and oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation for severe cases,” the doctor added.

(Inputs from IANS)

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