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Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 3, 2010

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a contagious viral disease that can lead to serious health problems—especially for young children and older adults. There is no vaccine to prevent RSV. However, there are simple ways you can protect your child or yourself from getting sick during RSV season. Some quick facts about respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV:

• It is a contagious viral disease that may infect a person’s lungs and breathing passages.
• Almost everyone gets RSV by age 2.
• The number of RSV cases typically rise in the fall, peak in the winter, and decline in early spring, but the exact timing of RSV season varies by location.


RSV symptoms are like those of many other respiratory illnesses. Infants and young children may experience a fever, reduced appetite, runny nose, cough, and wheezing. Older children and adults may have a runny nose, sore throat, headache, cough, and a feeling of general sickness. RSV also can lead to more serious illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis, in both children and adults.


RSV spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes, sending respiratory droplets into the air.


• Cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing,
• Wash their hands often with soap and water for 15–20 seconds,
• Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others, and Refrain from kissing others.


If you think that you or your child might have an RSV infection that requires medical care, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. RSV symptoms in most infants, children, and adults clear up on their own in a week or two.

More Information www.cdc.gov

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