Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), is a common cause of mild cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, cough and fever. Nearly all children in the United States normally catch an RSV infection by age 2.
RSV is not a new thing, but cases have been causing hospitals to be at near capacity in some areas.
According to Dr. Deanna Behrens, a pediatric critical care physician at Advocate Children's Hospital in suburban Chicago, "There is no one virus that's causing pediatric respiratory viruses this fall. Unfortunately, it's all of them."
According to an article on NBCNews.com, "Babies and preschool-aged children are coming down with the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses and enteroviruses in ways never before imagined, Behrens and other infectious diseases experts said."
Babies and toddlers, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk should they develop RSV which can seriously affect breathing because of airway or lung infections.
The NBCNews.com article further stated, "The flu is spreading at an especially high rate in Georgia, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C., according to the latest flu report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of the children hospitalized for flu, 80%, according to FluSurv-NET, are in Georgia.
"While RSV is inundating many children's hospitals, the number of pediatric flu cases is also increasing. 'We've seen numbers doubling on a weekly basis,' said Dr. Sarah Combs, an emergency medicine physician at Children's National in Washington, D.C."
Covid-19 is partly to blame. Why? Because these children may have built up immunities to some illnesses, but because of Covid-19 they were isolated from other children and didn't contract flus and colds like normal which helps to build up immunities.
"What we lacked is a couple of years of little kids developing the immunity that's needed to keep these colds at bay," said Dr. Buddy Creech, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. "We may be in for a rough six or seven weeks with influenza and RSV." ~NBCNews.com
While typically hospitals see a lot of RSV and other flu conditions in November-December, cases are happening earlier this year which has led to the concerns.
Symptoms of RSV
The symptoms may vary, but for most normally healthy children the symptoms will be similar to other respiratory infections similar to the common cold.
But some children, older adults and those with compromised immune systems can get very sick from RSV.
RSV can also lead to severe dehydration and dangerously high fever.
According to the American Lung Association, RSV infection during the first 6 months (and especially the first 3 months) of life may lead to wheezing and asthma later in life.
Call your pediatrician right away if you believe your child may have RSV.
How is RSV Spread?
RSV is very contagious. If you have the virus, you are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days. Some people may continue to spread RSV as long as 4 weeks, however.
It spreads much like a common cold virus entering through the eyes, nose or mouth. It can spread through direct contact with saliva, mucous or nasal discharge. It can also be spread by unclean hands because it can live for 30 minutes or more on unwashed hands.
It can also be spread through contaminated object or surfaces and it can survive on these for as long as 6 to 8 hours.
Ways to Prevent the Spread of RSV
Most of these are common yet simple ways to prevent the spread of RSV and many other illnesses. While they may be common-sense... common sense is sometimes hard to come by.
Wash your hands often.
The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. Hum the song "Happy Birthday" twice as this is about 20 seconds.
You should wash your hands frequently throughout the day especially when you are in contact with people who might be ill. If you are not sure, wash them anyway!
But sometimes water is not available. In that case, LastGerm.com has a solution for you.
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2. Use Vital Oxide
You can disinfect toys, furniture and objects in your home on a regular basis with Vital Oxide.
This product is a proven hospital-grade disinfectant and it kills 99.999% of viruses, bacteria and germs. Use on often-touched items and surfaces. It is fragrance-free and safe to use around kids, pets and people.
Even if your child isn't ill, spraying their toys with Vital Oxide regularly.
If your child or other person in your household suffers from an RSV infection, be sure to disinfect their bedding and mattress. You can add Vital Oxide to the washer to disinfect blankets, sheets and other laundry that needs to be disinfected (pajamas, etc.). The suggested amount is 1/2 to 1 cup of Vital Oxide, based on the size of the load you are washing, along with your regular detergent.
To disinfect the mattress, remove the bedding and spray the mattress with Vital Oxide and let it air dry.
There is also a travel-size Vital Oxide that is great to take with you when you travel.
3. Limit Exposure to Large Crowds
Keep away from crowds during the cold and flu season. Since RSV and other illnesses are starting earlier this year, limiting your contact with crowds should also start now.
This can be tricky because kids are in school now and they are germ-magnets! Remind your child to wash their hands often especially before eating or after using the restroom. You can also pack a bottle of BIOPROTECT™ Hydrating Hand Sanitizer for them to use if necessary.
With Covid-19 restrictions being lifted, crowds are everywhere, so this is hard to avoid, but using the precautions that you can will help.
4. Stay Home When You Are Sick
If you are sick, stay home from school, work and public areas so you don't get others sick!
If you have further questions about how to take advantage of these amazing products, please contact an agent near you. They will be happy to assist you.
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