Doctors discuss possible causes of RSV surge | News

Doctors discuss possible causes of RSV surge |  News

ANDERSON — The COVID-19 restrictions were not without consequences. A spike in cases of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, infection is being seen across the country and it could hit hospitals once again.

Madison County health care officials are reporting an increase in cases, but hospitals are not overwhelmed.

Melinda Smith, a nurse practitioner at Ascension St. Vincent, and Thomas Short, a physician in the department of emergency medicine at Community Hospital Anderson, reported an increase in cases.

Such short cases requiring hospitalization are referred to Riley Hospital for Children or Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

Typically, all children under the age of 2 will get RSV, however, COVID restrictions have limited opportunities for exposure, said Dr. Christopher Belcher, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Ascension St. Vincent. .

“Those kids never got infected and grew up to be 3-4 year olds. Now at this point you have all these 1 and 2 year olds who have never had RSV, plus a group of 3 and 4 year olds who have never had RSV. So the virus has a lot of new kids that it can infect that have never had it before,” he said.

Weather changes were mentioned as another possibility. December through February, he said, is when the virus occurs most often. However, there have been cases in summer and fall. It is unknown exactly when these respiratory diseases will arrive, as happened with COVID.

RSV can lead to additional infections, which can be serious. According to Belcher, RSV can cause illnesses such as pneumonia, croup and bronchiolitis.

Bronchiolitis differs from bronchitis in that it usually affects children and infants, rather than adults.

Belcher said that common symptoms of RSV are runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat and low-grade fever.

Home care may include the use of a cool mist humidifier and/or nasal aspirator. Both could help children breathe easier.

RSV is common, and most recover in one to two weeks, depending on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.although some cases can be more serious.

Symptoms such as labored and/or rapid breathing, changes in lip color or continued trouble breathing after treatment could be cause for concern, Belcher said.

Parents should consider taking their child to the emergency room if changes in lip color or serious trouble breathing occur, he said.

Premature babies and those with heart or lung disease may be at risk for serious illness.

Such children could receive monthly injections of palivizumab, which could prevent hospitalization. He said it’s unknown if it could be used for children without those risk factors.

Belcher recommended masking, hand washing and sanitizing as preventative measures. Rather than droplets, RSV is transmitted primarily through touch.

Smith added avoiding large crowds and staying home if you have a fever to the list.

COVID and flu shots are also recommended to avoid strain in hospitals, he said. There is currently no vaccine available for RSV, she said.

Pfizer announced an RSV vaccine that they believe is 82% effective in reducing hospitalizations for infants under three months and 69% for those under six months, according to a recent New York Times report. Article.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a UK pharmaceutical company, reported that its vaccine had an overall efficacy rate of 83%.

The article said the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to begin its review of GSK’s vaccine later this year.

Smith said a monoclonal antibody treatment has been approved in Europe. Beyfortus, as it is called, was approved by the European Union for prevention in newborns and infants, a press on November 4. release of Astra Zeneca said.

Unlike current treatment, it does not have to be limited to the most vulnerable. One dose of the antibodies reduced the number of lower respiratory tract infections by 74.5% over the course of a typical RSV season.

According to the Mayo ClinicMonoclonal antibodies are engineered antibodies that work with the body’s immune system to fight disease.

Those with concerns should notify their physician or consult kidshealth.comwhich Smith recommended as a credible resource.

Leave a Comment