So, you’ve gotten your flu shot, and if your kid’s old enough they’ve had theirs, too.
You’re home free this cold and flu season, right?
Not quite. Experts are once again warning parents that a cold-like winter respiratory virus called RSV poses a serious threat to children, especially infants. The virus is linked to anywhere between 60,000 and 200,000 deaths worldwide of children younger than age five, and is the leading cause of hospitalization in babies less than a year old, according to the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston.
“RSV during the wintertime is all around us and is rampant right now,” Pedro Piedra, a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at BCM, said in the college’s news release in December.
“A lot of times, people confuse RSV and the flu. There are several respiratory viruses that are co-circulating right now, and many of these viruses mimic each other… Don’t assume that it’s a breakthrough infection of the flu if you have been vaccinated,” Piedra said.
What is RSV?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which spreads the same way as the common cold, is the most common virus that can affect the lungs and breathing tubes, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS). It tends to peak between the late fall and early spring, CPS noted in a handout to parents.
While anyone can catch it (and most children and adults get RSV every few years), it’s most serious in young babies, CPS said. Children with RSV tend to show the same symptoms as a common cold, including a runny nose, coughing, and fever, but some children (especially young babies) experience wheezing and difficulty breathing, according to CPS.
Most children recover in a few weeks, but some need to be hospitalized and given fluids and oxygen, they added.
RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants and young children, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. In the U.S., 4,500 deaths a year are attributed to RSV infections, the agency added.
RSV risks in Canada
In November, an Alberta researcher warned that this season could be a particularly nasty one for RSV.
RSV season is upon us. Dr. David Marchant profiled on Global News: https://t.co/9FxJvbDdBY
— MedMicro&Immunology (@UAlberta_MMI) November 2, 2017
“For the last three or four years, RSV has been particularly severe because we found that these rather nasty strains of …
Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel