Posts Tagged ‘compromised immune system’

RSV – Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV),  usually causes mild cold-like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever) that go away on their own in about 10 days to two weeks.  It’s very contagious and most children get it by the age of two.  RSV can develop into a serious condition, however, and is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under the age of one and in many older adults.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) states that “Premature infants, children less than 2 years of age with congenital heart or chronic lung disease, and children with compromised (weakened) immune systems due to a medical condition or medical treatment are at highest risk for severe disease. Adults with compromised immune systems and those 65 and older are also at increased risk of severe disease.”

We’re in the season for RSV infection (in the U.S. usually October to April) so it’s wise to take precautions to help prevent it.  The main thing to do is wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water.  Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, don’t share cups or spoons and forks with others, and people with cold symptoms should not kiss others.

The CDC has good information about RSV symptoms and prevention as does the RSV Protection website.  Take some time to review it, especially if you have anyone in your family who falls into the higher risk category.