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The New Virus Spreading In The World RSV



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1- What is RSV virus?

 Respiratory syncytial virus (sin-SISH-uhl), or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover within a week or two, but RSV can be dangerous, especially in infants and the elderly. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways of the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children under 1 year of age in the United States.

2- What are the main consequences of this virus?

Diagnoses associated with respiratory syncytial virus are most commonly:

  • bronchiolitis
  • Tracheitis (inflammation of the trachea and bronchi)
  • Viral pneumonia
  • conjunctivitis
  • Acute otitis media 

3- What symptoms does this virus cause?

 Symptoms and severity can vary with several factors such as the age or health status of the child/person. The most common are:

  • Cough
  • Nasal secretions
  • eye secretions
  • Fever 
  • breathing difficulties
  • wheezing breathing  

Symptoms usually decrease in severity after a third infection with this virus.

4- Who is most affected by this virus?

  • Newborns and infants (less than 6 months) 
  • premature babies 
  • and children with heart, lung or congenital neuromuscular diseases
  • Children with immunodeficiency  
  • the elderly

5- How is this virus diagnosed?

 In most cases, laboratory identification of this virus is not necessary, as it will not alter specific treatment. Diagnosis is made by collecting respiratory tract secretions such as nasal or bronchial secretions.

6- What time of year is RSV most common? 

 In Portugal, RSV outbreaks usually occur in October/November and April/May.  

 The measures imposed during the COVID19 pandemic: mask-wearing, social distancing, and day-care centers/school closures, contributed to reducing transmission during this period, with transmission returning outside the usual periods.

7- How is this virus transmitted?  

 RSV is transmitted by introducing the virus from the nose, eyes, or mouth after contact with secretions or objects that contain the virus.

8- Is RSV contagious? 

 yes. RSV is highly contagious. It can live for several hours on contaminated hands or objects. Transmission to siblings is very common.

9- What is the incubation period for this virus?

 The incubation period is generally between 2 and 8 days.

10- How can I prevent respiratory syncytial viral infections? 

 Prevention of transmission is similar to other viruses:

  •  cleaning hands 
  •  Respiratory etiquette:  

            * Covering the mouth/nose with a tissue or arm when sneezing or coughing

             *   Do not sneeze/cough into your hands

             * Wash your hands after coughing/sneezing

  • Avoid exposure to tobacco or other fumes               

11- Is there a vaccine for RSV virus? 

There is currently no marketed vaccine.

12- Is it possible to prevent respiratory syncytial virus? 

 There is a monoclonal antibody drug used to prevent disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus in very premature (born less than 28 to 32 weeks of gestation) or chronically ill infants. Management decision is made on a case-by-case basis in a specialty consultation.

Dr. Peter Scott Morgan is the world's first semi-automated human being