United States: The threat of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) has been now looming on the younger population of the United States. Health experts have recently raised concerns regarding the increasing spread and high hospitalization among children.
In this regard, tips were shared by the chief of pediatrics at the IWK Health Center – Dr Andrew Lynk, who outlined that the tips must be followed to protect children from the increasing threat of RSV.
What does Lynk have to say?
Chief of pediatrics Lynk was quoted saying, “This year it’s mostly RSV with a little bit of flu starting now. COVID continues at a low baseline but does not affect children as much in terms of hospitalizations. It’s RSV that’s causing the hospitalizations,” according to CBC News.
He further emphasized that the worries have been increasing with the approaching Holiday season. Lynk mentioned that the infected person should avoid going to places where the vulnerable, including seniors, babies, and people with chronic health diseases, are present. As per CBC, further, he said that the parents and guardians must keep young babies, aged below six months, away “from the snotty-nosed cousins.”
Vaccination for RSV:
While emphasizing the importance of vaccination procedure, Lynk mentioned that the population must get shot against the flu “if you have someone vulnerable in your family, a child under one or an older adult who has health problems… flu is just starting now, so there’s lots of time to get ready.”
According to reports, a vaccine against RSV is available at the cost of US$300 and is not covered by the province.
RSV cases among the younger population
The latest report by Respiratory Watch by Nova Scotia mentioned that in week 49, between December 3 and 9, as many as 90 RSV cases were confirmed, out of which more than half, i.e., 54, were found among children aged four and under.
When to seek medical assistance?
Chief Lynk highlighted that the virus has been present, like chest cold or bad head. He mentioned, “If you’re seeing [RSV] for the first time, especially as an infant or if you’re elderly with some health-care issues, it can definitely be quite serious, and you can end up in hospital or quite ill.”
Along with this, he asked the parents and guardians to bring their child for medical assistance into the emergency room if they complain about not feeling well and they are fussy, fast breathing, as well as have a fever for prolonged periods of time.
Lynk stated, “But if they’re feeding OK, drinking OK, and Tylenol is working and they’re not breathing hard or fast and they’re doing OK otherwise, I would probably keep them out of the emergency departments if you can because you’re going to have a long wait unless they’re sick.”
The chief further explained that the emergency departments are busy dealing with RSV cases; however, the situation is still better than a year ago when hospitals were admitting patients with influenza, COVID-19, and RSV – together at one time.
RSV – respiratory syncytial virus
RSV is a common respiratory illness that leads to mild illness with cold-like symptoms. Flu can cause severe illness among infants and older adults.