Prognosis of RSV and Possible Complications

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV ) is a normal respiratory virus that causes common problems such as slight colds and breathing difficulties. Generally, people recover in a few weeks, but in some situations, it might turn harmful, especially for elderly adults and newborn babies/infants.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus - RSV | Allergy & Asthma Network

Two in three children will get affected by this virus during their initial months, leading to bronchiolitis or pneumonia that blocks nostrils and nasal passage airways, causing running nose, congestion, cough, and fever, which are curable. But sometimes, it might turn into a chronic disorder of major organs such as the heart/lungs/kidneys because of the lowered functioning of the immune system. Children affected with bronchiolitis might be experiencing asthma symptoms during the later phases of their life. Pneumonia also occurs when this RSV enters the lungs, causing rapid breaths, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The symptoms may slow down gradually or sometimes grow severe to cause chronic asthma or heart/lung diseases.

A Respiratory syncytial virus may show visual symptoms such as the retraction of the area between the ribs during inhalation. Poor appetite and feeling of fatigue can be observed, which may, in turn, lead to dehydration, causing cyanosis in newborn babies.

If the symptoms are at the initial stages, then they can be controlled by the following:

Look for the signs of dehydration and control it by replacing fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea. Still, if the situation worsens, ibuprofen can be administered initially to minimize the symptoms. Since it is a viral infection, antibiotics are not given. Still, suppose any symptoms occur in combination with bacteria, such as ear infections. In that case, antibiotics will be administered, for which the entire prescription needs to be followed without fail for appropriate results.


But if its severity aggravates the symptoms, it is always better to consult a physician and opt for suitable medication. For situations where chronic symptoms develop, it is highly required to hospitalize the kids for supportive therapy by providing supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation and fluid replacement, depending on the level of infection caused by the virus. Additionally, bronchodilators are also used to support rapid breaths and provide quick relief from closed nasal passages.

Ribavirin is an antiviral agent administered to children affected with RSV in 3g in 300ml of water via SPAG unit for at least 3-7 days, depending on the clinical acknowledgment. For high-risk children, RSV immunoglobulin intravenous prepared from RSV antibodies of donors is used for infants to lower respiratory infection symptoms. Palivizumab is most efficient for the prevention of high-risk children. If premature infants show this infection’s symptoms, then any suggested medication needs to be continued throughout the first year. Even for infants below six months, the chronological treatment should be followed throughout the next six months.

Transmission of RSV virus generally occurs through contaminated secretions and infected respiratory droplet discharge with a minimum incubation period of 3-5 days. The nosocomial spread can be avoided by taking proper measures and maintaining hygiene near the patients. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy may lessen the chances of viral infection through infant stages.

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