Dr. Kamal Pourmoghadam explains the RSV, an inflammatory respiratory disease
The RSV is an inflammatory respiratory disease mostly diagnosed in children aged 2 and below and people with weak immune systems. Dr. Pourmoghadam provides more information in his new article.
Signs and symptoms of the respiratory syncytial viral infection usually appear four to six days after the initial exposure to the virus. These include:
* Stuffy or runny nose
* Dry cough
* Low-grade or at times high fever
* Sore throat
* Headache, lethargy and fatigue
* Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
* Skin color changing to blue or purple
* Loss of appetite
The recovery time duration is between one to two weeks, with some patients complaining of chronic cough sometimes.
The respiratory syncytial virus enters the human body via the eyes, nose or mouth. It is highly contagious and commonly spreads through the medium of air in the form of droplets released during coughing or sneezing. It can also be transmitted through physical contact. An infected person is highly contagious in the first few days after contracting the infection after which the incubation period ends.
Certain risk factors are considered to increase the probability of your child getting infected with RSV. These include:
* Premature birth
* Congenital heart or lung disease patients
* People with compromised or weakened immune system
The respiratory syncytial virus may also cause certain complications if left untreated. These include:
* Excessive loss of body fluids
* Pneumonia and bronchiolitis
* Middle ear infection.
* Recurrent infections.
Currently, there is no specific vaccine for the respiratory syncytial virus but some precautionary measures can help reduce the risks of being infected by RSV:
* Wash your hands frequently to prevent the virus and the infection from spreading to other people.
* Avoid exposure and physical contact especially with babies, infants and people with compromised immune systems.
* Sterilize your things and keep them clean, Especially items like bed linen, toiletries, toys and utensils.
* Avoid sharing glasses, cutlery and other items that may spread the virus
* Avoid smoking
A disease specific drug by the name of palivizumab (Synagis) can also be administered to infants at high risk of contracting the Respiratory syncytial viral infection.
If your child displays any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms seek immediate medical attention and seclude your child to avoid the infection from spreading to other family members.
*** Kamal K. Pourmoghadam, MD, is a pediatric cardiac surgeon at The Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
Dr. Kamal Pourmoghadam