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All about respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection causes of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection signs and symptoms of RSV infection complications of RSV infection risk factors for RSV infection diagnosis of RSV infection treatment for RSV infection prevention of RSV infection

Who is at risk for RSV infection?

People of any age can be infected. Very young infants, premature infants, and children with underlying lung, heart, or

immune system problems are at high risk for severe RSV disease. The virus can also cause serious illness in elderly persons and in adults with lung disease or weakened immune systems. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that infects approximately 90% of children by the age of 2 and almost all children by age 3. The first RSV infection, which normally occurs between birth and 2 years of age, is usually the most severe. The virus spreads easily and is extremely difficult to completely avoid. Babies and young children who are in day care centers or frequently in public places are most likely to become infected, especially during the peak season when the virus spreads. Older brothers and sisters in school often become infected with the virus and spread it to other household members, including babies and preschoolers. Sharing food, touching objects that are contaminated with the virus, and not washing hands can lead to RSV infection. By age 2, most children will have been infected with RSV. Children who attend child-care centers or who have siblings who attend school are at a higher risk of infection. So are infants who are exposed to high levels of air pollution or cigarette smoke. Susceptibility also is greater during the peak RSV season, which typically begins in the fall and ends in the spring.
 

More information on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection

What 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.
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