ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Nasty Infectious Diseases You Want To Avoid - Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Updated on December 31, 2008

This is a respiratory illness caused by a member of a type of virus known as a Myxovirus (an RNA-containing virus that commonly causes upper respiratory infections and the common cold). RSV most often attacks infants and very young children; it is responsible for more than 90,000 hospitalizations and more than 4,000 deaths each year in the United States. Most cases occur in children under age four, with the peak of severe illness under six months of age, especially in infants with preexisting heart or lung conditions. RSV also can cause a serious illness in the elderly and in those with impaired immune systems.

The disease can occur at any time, although epidemics usually take place in fall and winter. The first infection is the worst, but it does not confer immunity; RSV can also cause serious colds in children who have repeat

Cause - RSV is spread via contact with droplets from the nose and throat of infected patients when they cough and sneeze. RSV can spread through direct respiratory secretions on sheets, towels, and other items. In the winter, this infection is a significant problem for hospitalized children who can become seriously ill with pneumonia if they catch RSV. Air pollution and smoking irritate the lining of the throat and can make it easier to catch RSV; people who live in areas of heavy industrial pollution or live with smokers have more serious and longer RSV infections. Studies have found that many children under age one who attend day care centers have been infected.

Symptoms - Symptoms can range from a mild cold to severe pneumonia and include coughing, wheezing, runny nose, and severe fatigue. Fever is unusual in young babies. Pneumonia is most likely among high-risk patients; occasionally, the infection can be fatal to infants. Symptoms occur four to six need ribavirin. days after exposure, and may persist for a few days or weeks. In most cases, babies are not seriously ill; it affects infants under age three months the most severely, since they have a hard time breathing. All babies except those with other infections. medical problems should recover within a week. Children are infectious from 24 hours before symptoms until two weeks after the cold starts. Adults are infectious for a much shorter time, until about five days before the cold starts.

Complications - RSV can cause bronchiolitis in infants under age one, pneumonia in babies under age two, or croup in children from six months to three years of age. beginning each November. Premature babies who have poorly developed lungs may be quite ill and may survive with permanent lung damage.

Diagnosis - RSV is usually diagnosed on the basis of symptoms; lab tests may be used in cases of severe illness and in special outbreak investigations. If a child has a bad cold, it's not likely that the pediatrician will test for RSV in an office visit. Children admitted to a hospital with pneumonia or bronchiolitis will be tested for the disease.

Treatment - There is no cure for this virus. Rest, high humidity, and clear fluids can help. The antiviral drug ribavirin will help a child recover if started in the first few days after symptoms appear. Treatment is reserved for the most serious cases because of potential side effects; an expensive medication, it is given in the hospital as a mist treatment. Most hospitalized children with RSV do not need ribavirin.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)