How can RSV infection be prevented?The spread of virus to others can be decreased through frequent hand washing and not sharing items such as cups, glasses, and utensils with people who have RSV illness. In a health care facility setting, contact precautions such as hand washing and wearing gowns and gloves should help prevent RSV transmission. At the current time, there is no available
RSV vaccine, but development of an RSV vaccine is a high priority to researchers.
Almost all children become infected with RSV before age 2. The virus spreads easily and is extremely difficult to completely avoid. Washing your hands and your child's hands frequently may help, as well as avoiding congested public areas, such as stores, during peak times when RSV typically spreads. However, if your child is otherwise healthy, preventing the infection from becoming severe is of most concern. This involves using home treatment methods, such as making sure your child gets plenty of rest. Babies born prematurely or children with other health problems have an increased risk of complications from RSV. Periodic injections with antibodies, such as respiratory syncytial virus immune globulin intravenous (RSV-IGIV) or palivizumab, during the peak season of RSV help prevent infection in some children. Even if this medication does not completely prevent RSV, it may result in a less severe infection.
Frequent hand washing and not sharing items such as cups, glasses and utensils with persons who have RSV illness should decrease the spread of virus to others. Excluding children with colds or other respiratory illnesses (without fever) who are well enough to attend child care or school settings will probably not decrease the transmission of RSV, since it is often spread in the early stages of illness. In a hospital setting, RSV transmission can and should be prevented by strict attention to contact precautions, such as hand washing and wearing gowns and gloves.
Additionally, an important product is available to prevent RSV infection: Synagis (palivizumab). It has been approved for prevention of RSV disease in children younger than 24 months of age who are at high risk for serious RSV disease. Synagis has not been approved for treatment of RSV infection, making prevention for high-risk children even more important. Synagis is given as a monthly shot to protect your child from contracting RSV. If your child is in a high-risk group, ask your doctor about using a preventive medicine.
More information on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infectionWhat is the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)? - Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus that causes mild cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children.
What causes respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection? - Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a virus that attacks the mucous membranes of people's respiratory tracts.
What're the signs and symptoms of RSV infection? - Signs and symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection include stuffy nose, cough, and sometimes ear infection.
What complications can result from RSV infection? - A person with a first RSV infection can develop severe breathing problems that need to be managed in the hospital.
Who is at risk for RSV infection? - Very young infants, and children with underlying lung, heart, or immune system problems are at high risk for severe RSV disease.
How is RSV infection diagnosed? - Diagnosis of RSV infection can be made by virus isolation, detection of viral antigens, detection of viral RNA.
What is the treatment for RSV infection? - Most people with mild RSV infections get better without treatment. RSV antibody and ribavirin to treat patients with compromised immune systems.
How can RSV infection be prevented? - RSV transmission can and should be prevented by strict attention to contact precautions, such as hand washing and wearing gowns and gloves.