Lifting Covid-19 restrictions has caused RSV cases to surge in US
What is RSV?
Along with other respiratory infections, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was heavily suppressed during its regular season due to lockdown measures implemented during the ongoing pandemic. With waning immunity levels and less social distancing, RSV has now re-emerged, adding more pressure on healthcare systems. A record-breaking 563 new RSV cases were reported over a one week time frame in the US during this atypical summer season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health advisory and trends indicate that the peak is yet to come. RSV is a winter virus and cases are rarely observed during the summer, but they are this year.
Why should I care?
RSV can kill you…
Older adults who get very sick from RSV may need to be hospitalized. Some may even die. Older adults are at greater risk than young adults for serious complications from RSV because our immune system weakens as we age.
When an adult gets an RSV infection, they typically have mild cold-like symptoms. However, RSV can sometimes lead to serious conditions such as:
- Pneumonia (infection of the lungs)
- More severe symptoms for people with asthma
- More severe symptoms for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic disease of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe
- Congestive heart failure (when the heart can’t pump blood and oxygen to the body’s tissues)
Do you have grandchildren?
RSV can be transmitted to and from children and can be dangerous for some infants and young children. Children can also infect older adults.
Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to RSV infection. RSV can be dangerous for some infants and young children.
The RSV season has come early this year…
RSV is predominately seen in the winter months, but it has already begun.
There is no vaccine to prevent RSV infection yet, but scientists are working hard to develop one.
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