The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning about a respiratory infection that can affect your children and some adults. Every winter parents should keep their children safe by bundling them up so they can avoid getting sick. This time around, CDC is warning parents to watch out for Respiratory Syncytial Viral, also known as RSV.
As the temperature cools down, parents should protect their children by adding layers to avoid severe illnesses. RSV infection can start out looking like a common cold, as the respiratory virus usually causes mild cold-like symptoms. In most cases, people can recover in a week or two.
But, RSV can also be serious, especially for infants, older adults, and anyone with a weak immune system. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States. It is also the cause of respiratory illness in older adults.
CDC stated there is no specific treatment or vaccine available to treat the viral infection, but there is a medicine that can help protect babies. The medicine is called Palivizumab and comes in a series of monthly shots. Symptoms of severe RSV infection include fever, reduced appetite, runny nose, sore throat, cough, and wheezing.
To prevent the spread of RSV the CDC recommends,
- To protect from germs, wash your hands often with soap and water, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Keep your hands off your face and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with sick people, such as sharing cups, kissing, or eating utensils with someone who has cold-like symptoms.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper shirt sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash afterward and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people frequently touch, such as toys and doorknobs. When people infected with RSV touch surfaces and objects, they can leave behind germs.
- To protect others from catching your illness, stay home from school, work, public areas when you are sick.