YOUR CHILD'S HEALTH IS YOUR MAIN CONCERN
This is why we would like to alert you on the dangers of RSV infection. Information can be found
on this pages on prevention, symptoms and treatment.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a highly contagious infection that usually causes the same symptoms as a bad cold, but which can develop severe respiratory illness such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia. It predominantly causes severe infection in children in the first year of life, particularly neonates born prematurely and/or with congenital conditions such as chronic lung or heart disease and Down syndrome.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ON RSV
Globally, RSV infection is the second most important cause of death during infancy. Annual RSV related deaths have been estimated at 253.000, accounting for up to 6.7% of the mortality of children aged <1 year.
Of these deaths, 99% occur in developing countries. In addition to severe acute disease, RSV infection has been linked to an increased risk in the development of asthma in later life.
RSV infections occur mostly in yearly epidemic outbreaks, during the winter months in temperate countries or during the rainy season in tropical countries.
In adults, RSV may only produce symptoms of a common cold, such as a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, mild headache, cough, fever, and a general feeling of being ill.
But in premature babies and kids with diseases that affect the lungs, heart, or immune system, RSV infections can lead to other more serious illnesses.
RSV is highly contagious and can be spread through droplets containing the virus when someone coughs or sneezes. It also can live on surfaces (such as countertops or doorknobs) and on hands and clothing, so it can be easily spread when a person touches something contaminated.
RSV can spread rapidly through schools and childcare centers. Babies often get it when older siblings carry the virus home from school and pass it on to them. Almost all kids have been infected with RSV at least once by the time they're 2 years old.
RSV infections often occur in epidemics that last from late fall through early spring. Respiratory illness caused by RSV — such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia — usually lasts about a week, but some cases may last several weeks.
Doctors typically diagnose RSV by taking a medical history and doing a physical exam. Generally, in healthy kids it's not necessary to distinguish RSV from a common cold. But if a child has other health conditions, a doctor might want to make a specific diagnosis; in that case, RSV is identified in nasal secretions.
There is no specific treatment for children with RSV infection. Antibiotics do not treat RSV. Mild to moderate infections resolve without treatment and can be managed at home. However, close monitoring is important, especially in at-risk children (see Risk factors). Nasal suction may be useful in removing the mucus, especially before feeding the baby and nebulized hypertonic saline can be useful.
A monthly injection with palivizumab, a monoclonal against the RSV F glycoprotein, during the RSV season prevents RSV-related hopital admission in children with congenital heart disease and preterm children with gestational age <= 35 weeks.
Infants and children with a severe RSV infection may be admitted to a hospital. Treatment may include:
Many other therapies have been assayed or used in the management of RSV patients with limited or absent benefits, including broncho dilators, corticosteroids.
In high income countries death due to RSV infection is a rare event. Children may experience cough and feeding difficulties up to 2 months after infection. About half of all children hospitalized for RSV infection will go on to have recurrent episodes of wheeze. It is not known whether RSV causes asthma.
RSV in a nut shell
ReSViNET scale APP for pediatric respiratory assessment is now available
DOWNLOAD HERE IOS - ANDROID
The application, developed by Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago, ResViNET and Gradiant, was officially presented at the International Congress of Respiratory Syncytial Virus recently held in Malaga, Spain. It is the only scale validated for infant acute respiratory distress in primary care whose objective is to facilitate communication between doctors and parents ReSViNET is the name of the scale created by the GENVIP Group (Genetics, Vaccines, Infections and Paediatrics Group) of the University Hospital of Santiago, REGALIP and the European network ReSViNET
According to Martinón-Torres, "Making a common evaluation method available, we can achieve greater involvement of the parents in the management of the disease, and doctors can have taken-at-home records that facilitates the follow-up and evaluation of the child's response to treatment." He adds that "the application of a scale is not only beneficial for the day-to-day of the clinical care for the aforementioned reasons, but also in medical research, and more specifically in clinical trials, as they require close and regulated monitoring of the subjects by doctors, nurses and parents. The proof of its usefulness is that it is already being used by different promoters as a reference scale".
Louis Bont, the paediatrician that leads the group dedicated to the research of Respiratory Syncytial Virus at the University of Utrecht and the coordinator of the ReSViNET network, summarizes, the importance of the new scale: "Scores to assess breathing problems were designed for hospital use, aimed at health professionals and are limited to one or two specific pathologies. With the ReSViNET scale, parents are offered a tool that, until now, was unavailable for them, and which is valid for all health care levels, not just for the hospital, whatever the cause of the respiratory distress.
This paediatrician, along with those of the University Hospital of Santiago de Compostela and dozens of paediatricians from all over Europe, will participate in the next step of the development of the ReSViNET, which will lead to the application of the ReSVinet Scale to more than 10,000 children throughout Europe, following the directives of the RESCEU project. With the app already available, it is a process that can be carried out systematically, and is also offered to parents and paediatricians outside the project.