Categorized | Diseases & Conditions

Common Virus, RSV Causes Life Threatening Conditions in Kids


What’s New: A common virus, RSV (Respiratory Syncytical Virus) that infects the breathing passage ways and lungs causes minor cold in adults but in young children and those who have weak immune system; it causes life threatening conditions.

Important detail: RSV (Respiratory Syncytical Virus) is highly contagious virus that peaks in winter and spreads rapidly from one child to another, said Rahul Bhatia, MD, physician at LUHS and assistant professor of pediatrics at Stritch School of Medicine- LUC. “Younger children are more likely to get infected with this virus.”

RSV spreads by touching contaminated and unhygienic surfaces and people. Symptoms reach at its peak into illness within 5 to 7 days and continue to cause serious problems for about 10 to 15 days. People with RSV virus remain contagious for 3 to 8 days but when it comes to people with weaken immune system, they are generally contagious for more than 4 weeks.

According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control), RSV is the main the offender of inflammation of the small airways of the lungs and bronchiolitis in newborns under the age of 1 year. Many kids expose to this virus by the age of 2 years.

No vaccine has been discovered so far against RSV. It cannot be stopped from spreading.The only way to protect your children from this dangerous virus is old fashioned hand washing.

RSV symptoms differ with age and can be akin to cold. Bhatia advises calling your physician if a kid has the following symptoms- decreased appetite, nasal flaring, decreased urine output and difficulty with breathing. Bhatia suggests making a move to the emergency room right off if a kid is dusky color, quits breathing as well as having difficulty with breathing.

“There are lots of viruses that lead to respiratory infections but the best way to differentiate between RSV and others is to get a test done”, Bhatia said.

Conclusion: RSV is very contagious virus that causes serious illness in children as compared to adults. It produces the symptoms quite similar to common cold. No vaccine is available up to now to control this virus. The best ways to protect your kid from this virus is old fashioned hand washing or keeping them away from unhygienic people and surfaces.