The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning against the spread of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
Fresh Warnings Have Been Issued By The CDC Against The Spread Of RSV In The Southern States
It is a common virus associated with cold and flu, spreading mostly in the southern states as a late spring disease wave.
Warnings of the CDC:
The CDC has issued an advisory addressing the primary healthcare providers like the doctors and nurses, informing them about the spread of the RSV.
The alert of the CDC states that it can cause pneumonia-like symptoms in younger people, particularly in very small babies and children.
The advisory further states that, owing to the increased activity and incidence of viral infections, broad testing should be carried out for RSV in children and babies, who test negative for the covid-19 virus.
Knowing more about RSV:
RSV-related illness can take severe form in both children and older people.
The guidelines in the latest CDC advisory suggest the healthcare providers not report to work if they experience any cold or flu-like symptoms, both for mild and severe forms, even if they have tested negative for the covid-19 virus.
RSV is highly contagious and can spread like any other virus, through droplets while coughing or sneezing and by contact with contaminated surfaces.
Implications on children:
In the US, RSV is the most prevalent cause of bronchitis and pneumonia in children below one year of age.
According to the CDC data, very small children, babies, and older people who have an underlying medical condition are susceptible to developing severe illness from RSV.
In terms of hospitalization and death, every year an estimated 58,000 children below 5 years of age are hospitalized with the virus, while 100-500 fatalities are reported for the same age group.
In the case of adults, every year roughly 177,000 individuals above 65 years of age are hospitalized because of RSV-related sickness, and an estimated 14,000 deaths are reported among the older people.
Prevalence of RSV:
The incidences of RS diagnosis are more common during the months of fall and winter, however, in the current year, the cases dropped after the pandemic spread.
However, CDC has noted that, since late March, a rise in the RSV cases has been observed by the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS), a surveillance network, spread nationwide and based out of laboratories.
Most of the cases have been observed in few southern states like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The CDC further clarifies that young children and older people might be susceptible to more severe forms of RSV-related illness since they did not build any immunity against the virus as the cases were low during the fall-winter months of 2020-2021.
As of now, there is no specific treatment for the virus, but researchers are working to find a cure for the illness.
Symptoms and care of the illness:
Individuals infected with the virus show symptoms typically 4-6 days after contracting the infection.
Some of the most common symptoms of RSV include runny nose, coughing, decreased appetite, fever, sneezing, and wheezing.
These symptoms usually do not appear all at once and emerge slowly in stages.
However in the case of very small children the only symptoms noticed are, breathing difficulty, irritability, and a decrease in their activity level.
Among children, the prevalence of RSV can be understood by the fact that almost all children get one incidence of RSV before their first birthday.
Most RSV-related sickness usually goes away on their within one or two weeks, however, there are medications to provide some relief and manage the symptoms.
Some of the medications are ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage the pain and fever, however, aspirin should strictly be avoided for children.
One should consume enough fluid to prevent dehydration and discuss with the medical professionals before taking any non-prescription medication.