RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is a very common virus that infects all people from young infants to the elderly.  The symptoms range from a simple 'cold' to wheezing and breathing difficulites ("bronchiolitis").  There are no specific treatements other than supportive measures, such as staying hydrated, reducing fevers, etc.  Also, there are no pediatric vaccines available, although medical scientists have worked for decades to perfect one.

There has been a lot of attention paid to RSV in the media and other outlets, and for good reason.  The RSV 'season' has started earlier then usual, and it appears that there has been an increase in hospital admissions for RSV infections. But to be clear (and reassurring) in most winter months, there are many (many) patients admitted to the hospital for RSV infections.  The reason for admission is to treat dehydration, and/or to give supplemental oxygen and offer respiratory support.

As with the flu, the children at a higher risk for bronchiolitis are infants and young toddlers, and those with underlying medical conditions.  An important fact to know is that when a child has bronchiolitis the illness will slowly improve over the course of a week (or so), but the cough may linger for another 2 weeks (or so!).  To be reassuring again, the vast, vast (vast!) majority of children, including hospitalized children, do just fine with RSV, but it can take a bit to get better!

For more information and 'things' to watch for please, see the following news article and video.  As always, please call the office for an appointment if there are any concerns.


Healthy Children article

RSV Video





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