As we enter the end of the rainy season and beginning of winter, the name of RSV ( Respiratory Syncytial Virus ) returns to the top of the list of viruses that must be watched out for among parents with young children. Because it is an important cause of infectious diseases in the upper and lower respiratory tract. It can spread and cause severe symptoms in young children, especially in the first two years of age. Data from the Department of Disease Control last year. Found that the highest rate of RSV infection was found among children under 2 years of age, with a proportion of 52%, and among children aged 3-5 years or kindergarten age, approximately 34. The overall percentage of outbreaks found among young children under 5 years of age is higher than 80%.
Although most have symptoms similar to common colds, such as a low-grade fever, cough,สมัคร ufabet or nasal congestion, if they occur in at-risk groups, including premature infants. (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or children with lung or heart disease There will be a high risk of serious complications. May result in respiratory failure. Must use a ventilator Or it may even lead to death. Not only that, RSV also has long-term health effects. Meanwhile, children who have previously been infected with RSV are at increased risk of re-infection with the bacteria in their respiratory tract. May induce bronchospasm or asthma-like symptoms. And there is a chance of experiencing repeated breathlessness during the first year than usual. It is also associated with the development of chronic lung disease in adults as well.
In addition to directly affecting children’s health, the RSV virus also has economic and social impacts. Especially the cost of medical treatment is quite high. Because of the respiratory infection caused by the RSV virus, there is no specific drug to treat it. Therefore, treatment methods must be used to support the symptoms. And parents must also bear the opportunity cost of various resources. While caring for sick children
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Harutai Kamalaporn, pediatric respiratory specialist Department of Pediatrics Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital Mahidol University said, “Following Covid prevention measures.-19 in the past period Helps reduce the rate of spread of the RSV virus to a certain extent. But at present the situation is starting to return to normal. Of course, the children Should be able to go out and live outside to enhance development according to age. This increases the risk of contracting RSV, a seasonal virus. This year, the situation of the outbreak of RSV pneumonia in children has increased significantly and an increased proportion of severe symptoms have been found.
Maybe because last year the kids Not going out reduces natural herd immunity. There is currently no approved vaccine for RSV in children in Thailand. Therefore, prevention and close supervision of young children is very important. Especially children with congenital diseases such as heart disease and premature infants. Including family members must be especially careful. Because it may be a carrier of germs to young children as well. Especially infants, who are already at high risk.”
This is because the initial symptoms of RSV are similar to the common cold. Methods for observing symptoms of RSV must consider additional factors, such as illness during the epidemic season. or have symptoms of shortness of breath as well Because it is a characteristic that indicates a disorder of the respiratory system. The disease caused by RSV infection is usually most severe on the 3-4th day from the first day of symptoms. Often there will be symptoms of heavy breathing, difficulty breathing, and a clear crackling sound in the throat or chest. There is a lot of mucus. Starting to feel tired and restless. If you have these symptoms, you must take the child to the hospital immediately. Because if you don’t get treatment quickly, it can lead to a serious condition that requires you to use a ventilator or be treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The RSV virus can be transmitted through droplets of secretions, whether directly from coughing or sneezing. Or by using hands that have been exposed to the virus to touch the nose, mouth, and mucous membranes of the eyes, it can spread quickly in places where young children gather, such as child care centers. indoor playground or swimming pool, so the method of prevention that you can do yourself is to maintain hygiene. Teach children to wash their hands frequently with soap and not touch their faces. Try to avoid staying in crowded areas for long periods of time.
Especially during the epidemic season If you start to feel sick, the child should stay at home for treatment. Do not go out to live with other children, etc. for parents and family members. Smoking, including all types of e-cigarettes, should be avoided. Because both cigarette smoke and air pollution like PM2.5 affect the destruction of children’s respiratory mucosa. and has the effect of increasing the risk of developing more severe disease conditions
“Children who have previously been infected with RSV are more likely to get it again, even if they are from the same subtype. This puts young children at constant risk. Meanwhile Currently, there is no specific treatment for this virus. Therefore, during this outbreak season Parents must take prevention seriously. Because it is easier than dealing with the severe burden of disease if infected. Especially in children at risk,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Harutai.