Respiratory syncytial virus causes lungs and respiratory infections, which most children are infected at the age of 2. However, this can also infect adults.

In adults and older children, the virus has mild symptoms, similar to a common cold, and usually requires only self-care to relieve discomfort. However, this symptom can be severe in some cases, especially for premature babies and infants with potential health conditions. Respiratory Syncytial virus can also become severe in older people, adults with heart or lung disease, or people with low immunity.

How common is respiratory syncytial virus?

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under 1 year of age. Respiratory Syncytial Virus is also a common cause of respiratory diseases in the elderly. If you want to reduce the risk of infection, you can achieve effective control by reducing the risk factors. Consult your doctor for more information.

Symptoms of Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Respiratory syncytial virus affects the nose and throat, and symptoms are usually mild, similar to common cold symptoms, including:

  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Slight sore throat
  • Ear-ache.
  • Fever; usually in the early stages.

You may have other symptoms such as:

  • Lose of interest in things around you.
  • Lactless and lethargy.
  • Annoyed, and irritated
  • Poor sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Apnea, which is about 15 to 20 seconds of breathing, usually occurs only in premature babies with a history of respiratory arrest.

It is difficult to distinguish between a common cold and a respiratory syncytial virus, unless you and your child have complications associated with the Respiratory Syncytial Virus. This can also sometimes cause bronchitis or pneumonia, or both. Complications include:

  • Breathing problems, which includes more rapid breathing than usual.
  • Wheezing
  • Gradually worsening cough, the child may choke or vomit due to intense cough.
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • lost of interest in things around you
  • lost of interest in food.

When to see a doctor?

Most respiratory syncytial virus are not life-threatening. However, if your child or anyone at risk of serious illness has breathing problems, high fever or cyanosis, especially where the lips and nails are located, seek medical assistance immediately .

Reason why you have Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Respiratory Syncytial Virus enters the body through the eyes, nose, mouth, etc. and is a highly contagious, highly infectious respiratory virus; secretions excreted by coughing or sneezing are inhaled, or by shaking hands , there is a risk of transmission and infection.

The virus can survive for hours on the surface of the toy, so refrain from touching your mouth, nose, eye, etc. after touching a contaminated object. In addition, infected people have the highest contagion in the first few days after infection, but the Respiratory Syncytial Virus remains contagious for weeks even after the start of infection.

Risk factors for respiratory syncytial virus

There are many risk factors for respiratory syncytial virus, such as:

  • Infants born prematurely or with congenital heart disease or lung disease.
  • Children with a weak immune system, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplantation.
  • Infants in overcrowded child-care facilities.
  • Older people
  • Patients suffering from Asthma, Congestive heart failure, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Immune deficiency, such as leukemia and HIV/AIDS patients.

Diagnosis and treatment of respiratory syncytial virus

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical advice. Be sure to consult a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

How to diagnose respiratory syncytial virus

Your physician may use a scientific examination and the time you were infected to determine if you have Respiratory Syncytial Virus. During the examination, your doctor will listen to the sound of your lungs with a stethoscope to check for wheezing or other noise. Your physician may use:

  • Painless skin monitoring (also known as pulse oxygen sensing): This is to check if the oxygen concentration in the blood flow is lower than normal.
  • Blood test: to examine the white blood cell count or confirm the presence of viruses, bacteria, or other organisms.
  • Chest X-ray: to check for pneumonia.
  • Laboratory Examination: to examine respiratory secretions from the nose for the presence of viruses.

How to treat respiratory syncytial virus

RSV treatment generally includes self-care measures that make the patient more comfortable, but in severe cases, hospital care may be required.

Supportative Care

Your doctor may recommend using Paracetamol to help with fever. In case of bacterial complications, antibiotics are used. In addition to medication, you should make patients feel as comfortable as possible, get them hydrated and observe signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, low urine or no urine, dented eyes, extreme irritation or drowsiness.

Hospital care

With severe respiratory syncytial virus, the hospital may require intravenous and humidifying oxygen; hospitalized infants may also need to connect to a ventilator for smoother breathing. In some serious cases, bronsalbutamol dilators such as Albuterol may be required to treat wheezing, which opens the trachea of the lungs.

Nebulizer means that the user is inhaled in a fine mist form. Ribavirin may sometimes be used as an antiviral atomizer. Physicians may also recommend taking adrenaline or using atomized adrenaline, such as Racemic epinephrine, to relieve early symptoms.

Life Adjustment and Home Therapy

The following lifestyle and home therapies may help you cope with the virus:

Most healthy people have colds when they get mild or moderate virus. If your child is over 12 years old and has no complications, you can try to feel well at home, but if you have patients with respiratory syncytial virus and develop complications, you need to watch them closely.

If the immune system is low accompanied with the symptoms of a cold, you need to see a doctor because of the high risk of complications. In addition, infants, young children and elderly with health problems and other risk factors should see a doctor if they see if  signs of viral infection.

How to take care of children with RSV

Observe signs of dehydration first and be sure to replenish the water lost due to shortness of breath, fever, diarrhea, vomiting. For infants, it is recommended to increase the frequency of breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
Do not provide sports drinks, soft drinks, undiluted juices or water for babies, which may contain excessive sugars, too low calories, and lack of balanced essential minerals.
Soothing your child can make them feel more comfortable. Sometimes your child can relieve symptoms by taking drugs such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, or maintain an upright position to breathe.
Be sure to read all the instructions on the signs and follow the instructions before taking any medication. Do not allow children under 20 years of age to take Aspirin as it may cause rare but severe Reith Syndrome.
Viral infections generally do not require antibiotics, but if your child develops respiratory fusion virus complications such as ear infections, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Do not stop using antibiotics even if your child feels better, as bacterial infections may relapse if the child does not take all the drugs.
When you take care of a sick child, you have a lot of physical and mental exertion, and you need proper rest and physical condition to give your child the best care.

If you have any questions, consult your doctor to find the best way for you.

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