Home » Health » first cause of infection in children

first cause of infection in children

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the leading cause of respiratory infection in children and is the main reason for hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infection in children under two years of age in developed countries, according to experts.

Respiratory syncytial virus has a high frequency in children, specifically in infants and in early childhood, which can lead to an infection in the lungs and other respiratory tracts. And, now in the colder months, there is an increase in cases and hospitalizations.

“It is a virus that affects everyone, but the complications it causes are different according to age. It produces an acute respiratory process that runs like a normal cold in older children and middle-aged people. However, at both ends of life, it can produce a respiratory process with bronchial obstruction and severe respiratory difficulty”, explains the doctor Teresa Cenarro, vice president of the Spanish Association of Primary Care Paediatrics (AEPap).

Who does it affect?

It affects premature children under six months of age, babies with chronic lung problems, congenital heart disease or who are immunocompromised (weakened immune system).

In addition, RSV infection can lead to pneumonia and bronchiolitis (swelling and accumulation of mucus in the smaller airways of the lungs of children under one year old), which means the 18% of all pediatric hospitalizations.

Symptomatology and transmission

“The first symptoms of RSV are usually a runny nose and sneezing, symptoms similar to those of any cold. In the case of small children, the evolution can be complicated with a stronger cough, difficulty breathing, discomfort, loss of appetite…”, explains the doctor.

He also adds that there is a high percentage of children who require hospitalization to control respiratory distress.

At the time of contagion, the doctor Manuel Sánchez Luna, president of the Spanish Society of Neonatologyexplains: “RSV is easily transmitted by sneezing, coughing or touching something that may have the virus”.

It can be transmitted from three forms:

  • contact: this is the case of people touching, kissing or sharing cups and cutlery.
  • Unwashed hands: The virus can survive 30 minutes or more on unwashed hands.
  • Objects and surfaces: Can survive up to 6 hours on surfaces, toys, keyboards or doorknobs.
Respiratory virus children
EFE/ Ángel Medina G.

Seasonality of the virus

RSV outbreaks usually occur during the colder winter months, but after covid-19 the pattern has changed.

According to the expert, the virus is no longer concentrated in the winter months as before, but has been distributed throughout the year, and it is also expected to be seen during the spring and summer months.

Preventive measures

Dr. Sánchez Luna offers a series of measures in order to predict the respiratory virus in children:

  • wash your hands Often.
  • Avoid crowds and other small children (especially those with a cold or fever).
  • Do not allow anyone to smoke near your baby.
  • Do not expose the baby to contagious environments.
  • Keep toys, clothes, blankets and sheets clean.
  • Wear a mask in public spaces.
  • As far as possible, encourage the breast feeding.

“The Strength of Fragility”

According to the pharmaceutical company AstraZenecait is estimated that in Spain infections by this virus originate between 7,000 i 14,000 hospitalizations each year.

And between the 2-3% of children with one primary infection for RSV in the first twelve months of life require hospitalization, of which, the 2-6% enters a intensive care.

In addition, RSV is the second leading cause of death in infants under twelve months of age worldwide.

Thus, the Association of Parents of Premature Children (APREM), What Hearts i AstraZenecahave launched “The Strength of Fragility”, a campaign with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of knowing the condition and preventing it.

The campaign featured a video in which several patients, family members and healthcare professionals recount their first-hand experience with RSV to help and support other families and healthcare professionals.

Related Content
What can go wrong with a stoma?

What can go wrong with a stoma? Peristomal skin pain Read more

Where are the intercostal muscles?

Where are the intercostal muscles? The intercostal muscles are located Read more

Do I have to wash the scallops before cooking?

Do I have to wash the scallops before cooking? Once Read more

What types of cells are there in the endocrine system?

What types of cells are there in the endocrine system? Read more

Leave a Comment