RSV is on the Rise

We received this update from the state health department regarding RSV infection rates:

3 – Increasing RSV Activity – UT
The Intermountain Healthcare Germ Watch program (https://intermountain.net/portal/site/mdvsi/) has identified an increase in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) during the past few weeks. Recent trends indicate this increase in RSV activity is not unusual. Over the past few years, there has been a sharp increase in RSV activity toward the end of January through February.

RSV can cause upper respiratory infections and lower respiratory tract infections (such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia). In children under one year of age, RSV is the most important cause of bronchiolitis. RSV is spread through respiratory droplets via direct or close contact. Individuals with RSV are infectious just before the onset of disease and continue through the duration of their illness. Healthy individuals, including infants, typically improve within 2-5 days with minimal home care. Premature infants, children less than two years of age with congenital heart or chronic lung disease, and children with compromised immune systems are at highest risk for severe disease. Adults with compromised immune systems and those 65 and older are also at increased risk of severe disease.

RSV infections can be prevented through frequent hand washing and respiratory droplet precautions. Breastfeeding of infants offers some protection against respiratory infections. There is no vaccine to prevent RSV. Palivizumab (Synagis) is an FDA approved monoclonal antibody injection that is used monthly during RSV season to prevent severe RSV illness in high risk infants and children. The drug can help prevent development of serious RSV disease, but it cannot help cure or treat children already suffering from serious RSV disease and it cannot prevent infection with RSV. Additional information on RSV, including AAP recommendations for the use of Palivizumab can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/rsv/clinical/prophylaxis.html

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