Clear your suspicion of respiratory syncytial virus, which mainly affects children – News

In Brazil, about seven out of ten hospital admissions for respiratory complications among children up to 4 years of age are due to RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) infection. It is a common pathogen at this time of year, but requires the attention of parents for the evolution of the condition.


RSV is classified as a pneumovirus with subgroups A and B. According to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Treatment, it is “ubiquitous” and “almost all children are infected by the age of 4.”

RSV epidemics are seen in Brazil in autumn and mid-July.

“Because the protective response of RSV does not protect against re-infection, the attack rate is about 40% for all exposed individuals. However, antibodies against RSV reduce the severity of the disease. RSV is the most common cause of upper respiratory tract infections. “Manual adds.

How is the infection performed?

Since it is a respiratory virus, the infection occurs through close contact with someone who has the virus.

Like Covid-19, RSV is spread by saliva droplets, sneezing, or coughing.

Touching contaminated surfaces with your hands and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose is another way to catch the disease.

What are the main symptoms and how long do they last?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that most cases of RSV infection have mild symptoms that appear periodically, not simultaneously. What are they:

Decreased appetite;
Cough, which can cause shortness of breath;
Sneezing; And

According to the agency, these symptoms usually disappear after four or six days, but can last up to two weeks.

It should be noted that the symptoms are usually slightly different in children under 6 months of age. They can present:

Decreased activity;
Decreased appetite; And
• Apnea (shortness of breath).

What is treatment?

There is no specific drug to fight RSV infection. It is the organism of the baby that will treat the disease. All that can be done is symptom control.

For example, if you have a fever, you should use over-the-counter painkillers and antipyretic drugs. The CDC recommends that children never be given aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA).

Maintaining fluid intake during illness is essential to prevent children from becoming dehydrated.

Parents or guardians should consult a physician before administering any medication, regardless of which virus causes the child’s flu.

To date, there is no vaccine to prevent RSV infection.

In high-risk children, a drug called palivizumab, an antibody designed to induce immunity against RSV, may be used under medical supervision.

What are the complications?

RSV infections can cause bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) or pneumonia (lung infections).

“One to two out of every 100 children under 6 months of age infected with RSV need to be hospitalized. Those admitted to the hospital may need oxygen, intubation and / or mechanical ventilation. [ajuda na respiração]. Most improve with such supportive care and are released within a few days, “the CDC added.

Complications of RSV are more common in the following groups:

Premature infants;
Very young children, especially those 6 months or younger;
Children under 2 years of age with chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease (present from birth);
শিশু Children with weakened immune systems; And
শিশু Children with neuromuscular disorders who have difficulty swallowing or clearing mucus secretions.

What are the warning signs?

Emergency care should be taken if the baby has difficulty breathing, has a persistent fever, does not drink enough fluids, or has any worsening symptoms.


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