Respiratory syncytial virus

RS virus or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is a common and contagious virus that mainly affects the respiratory tract. It is a common cause of respiratory infections in infants and toddlers. RS virus infections can cause symptoms such as cough, runny nose, fever and sometimes difficulty breathing.

Symptoms of RS virus infection:

Symptoms of RS virus infection can vary depending on age and state of health. In infants and toddlers, the infection may be more severe and include the following symptoms:

  • Runny nose: A runny or stuffy nose is a common early symptom.

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    • Cough: Coughing is common and can be severe, especially at night.

    • Fever: Fever is usually part of the infection and can be high in infants.

    • Difficulty breathing: Difficulty breathing, such as rapid breathing or whistling sounds when the child breathes, can occur and can be serious.

    • Irritability: The child may be extra irritable or cry more than usual.

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    • Decreased appetite: Infants may have difficulty eating due to nasal congestion and coughing.

    • Symptoms may worsen when the child cries or exerts themselves.

    • For older children and adults, RSV infection can cause milder symptoms similar to a common cold, including a runny nose, cough and fever.

      It is important to note that RSV infection can be particularly serious in infants, especially those born prematurely or with underlying health problems. If you suspect that your child has the RS virus or if symptoms become severe, it is important to seek medical care for a thorough assessment and possible treatment.

      The risk periods for RS virus infection:

      varies slightly by region and climate, but they usually coincide with the cold season.

      For most regions, this means that the risk period for RS virus infection is during the autumn and winter months, usually from October to March . During these months, the spread of the RS virus increases because people tend to stay indoors and have closer contact with each other. It is also during this time that hospitals and health care facilities often see an increase in cases of RSV infection, especially in infants and young children.

      What can I do to prevent the infection :

      • Hand washing: Regular and thorough hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the RS virus. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before handling the child or eating.

      • Avoid close contact with sick individuals: Try to avoid close contact with people who have cold symptoms or other respiratory infections, especially in the case of infants.

      • Avoid smoking: Do not smoke and avoid smoky areas. Children exposed to smoke are at increased risk of serious RSV infections.

      • Good hygiene: If you are sick, cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Use disposable tissues and dispose of them immediately after use.

      • Disinfect surfaces: Regularly clean toys, pacifiers and other objects that the child comes into contact with to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

      • Breastfeeding: If possible, breastfeed your infant. Breast milk contains antibodies that can help protect the baby against the RS virus and other infections.

      • Follow medical advice: If your baby is at high risk for severe RS virus infections due to age or health conditions, follow your doctor's advice on any medical prophylaxis or other preventive measures.