Incubation Period Of Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Treatment For Severe Infection Or Complications

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) – Pathophysiology

Children who develop lower respiratory infections, especially bronchiolitis, may need medicines in addition to home treatment. Antibiotics may be used to treat a bacterial infection that develops as a complication. But antibiotics don’t treat RSV or any other viral infection.

When complications develop in otherwise healthy children, corticosteroid medicines sometimes are used. But more study is needed before corticosteroids are routinely recommended for this purpose.

A child who is having difficulty breathing or is dehydrated may need to be cared for in a hospital. The child may need respiratory and other medical treatments. In very rare cases, some children receive the antiviral medicine ribavirin while they are in the hospital.

  • Pregnant women should avoid contact with a child who is receiving ribavirin.
  • If your child is in the hospital for RSV, there are extra measures you can take to make his or her stay comfortable.

Is Rsv Contagious Everything You Need To Know About This Virus

As a family medicine physician at UCHealth Primary Care Estes Park, Dr. Richard Payden sees an increase in respiratory syncytial virus cases each fall and into the following spring.

As a father, hes dealt with this potentially serious virus firsthand.

My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter got RSV first, then my wife, then my six-month-old son, then myself over the course of four days, Payden said. The three oldest did OK with fevers, body aches and cough. My 6-month-old son initially was doing well, but about four days into his illness he was having respiratory distress with increased work of breathing, retractions and rapid breathing rate.

Payden took his son to the ER and after about four hours on oxygen, he and his son were able to go home, and his son is doing well now. But it was a stark reminder that this seasonal virus can affect the younger and older population just as seriously as COVID-19 and people need to be vigilant in protecting themselves.

Is It Possible To Prevent Respiratory Syncytial Virus Is There An Rsv Vaccine

There is currently no vaccine to prevent RSV.

Respiratory syncytial virus can be prevented with the usual proper hygiene that is followed to prevent the common cold. If one has symptoms of RSV or a cold, it’s possible to help prevent its spread to others by doing the following:

  • Wash hands frequently .
  • Cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Do not share food, dishes, or utensils with others.
  • Parents of children at high risk for severe infection with RSV should take precautions to protect their children from the virus.
  • Do not interact with children at high risk if you have a cold.
  • Refrain from kissing children at high risk while you have symptoms.
  • Limit time high-risk children spend at daycare or other public settings during RSV season.

Premature infants and infants with chronic lung disease who are at high risk of severe infection from RSV may be given preventive treatment of a neutralizing antibody to RSV called palivizumab to reduce the risk of severe illness.

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus Causes Infection Of The Lungs And Breathing Passages

In adults and healthy children, it may only produce symptoms of a common cold, such as a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, mild headache, cough, fever, and a general feeling of being ill. But in premature babies and kids with diseases that affect the lungs, heart, or immune system, RSV infections can be much more serious.

What Can I Do To Prevent Getting Respiratory Syncytial Virus Or Prevent Spreading Rsv If Infected

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV): Causes, symptoms, and ...

You can follow the same precautions that one follows if they have the cold, flu or any other contagious disease:

  • Wash your hands often. Wash for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent the spread of viruses from your hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing and coughing or sneeze and cough into your elbow. Throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands afterward. Never cough or sneeze into your hands!
  • Avoid close contact with those who have known RSV, coughs, colds or are sick. Stay home if you are sick.
  • Dont share cups, toys or bottles, or any objects. Viruses may be able to live on such surfaces for hours .
  • If you are prone to sickness or have a weakened immune system, stay away from large crowds of people.
  • Clean frequently used surfaces with a virus-killing disinfectant.

Additional tips for children:

  • Keeping your children home from day care when they or other children become ill.
  • If you have a child at high risk of developing severe RSV, try to limit time at child care centers or gatherings of large number of children during the RSV season.
  • Wash toys frequently.

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Is Respiratory Syncytial Virus Contagious

Respiratory syncytial virus is contagious. In the United States, it’s the most common cause of inflammation of the small airways in the lungs and of pneumonia in children under 1 year of age. It also is significant cause of respiratory illnesses in older adults. Nearly all children in the U.S. will have been infected by RSV by 2 years of age. RSV usually causes a mild respiratory infection, but it can occasionally cause more serious infections that require hospitalization from breathing compromise with bronchiolitis or pneumonia. RSV was discovered in 1956 and was designated chimpanzee coryza agent by J. Morris and associates. Years later, the viruses were renamed respiratory syncytial virus . In virology terminology, RSV is an enveloped RNA virus and is a member of the family Paramyxoviridae that infects lung tissue.

Key Points About Rsv In Children

  • RSV is a viral illness that causes trouble breathing. It is more common in winter and early spring months.

  • Most babies have been infected at least once by the time they are 2 years old. Babies can also be re-infected with the virus. Infection can happen again anytime throughout life.

  • Treatment for RSV may include extra oxygen. This is extra oxygen given through a mask, nasal prongs, or an oxygen tent. A child who is very ill may need to be put on a breathing machine to help with breathing

  • In high-risk babies, RSV can lead to severe respiratory illness and pneumonia. This may become life-threatening. RSV as a baby may be linked to asthma later in childhood.

  • Babies at high risk for RSV receive a medicine called palivizumab. Ask your child’s healthcare provider if your child is at high risk for RSV.

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What Are The Incubation Periods For Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Incubation times before the appearance of symptoms vary among pathogens. Rhinoviruses and group A streptococci may incubate for 1-5 days, influenza and parainfluenza may incubate for 1-4 days, and respiratory syncytial virus may incubate for a week. Pertussis typically incubates for 7-10 days, or even as long as 21 days, before causing symptoms. Diphtheria incubates for 1-10 days. The incubation period of Epstein-Barr virus is 4-6 weeks.

Incubation Period Of Common Diseases

Research underway into respiratory syncytial virus vaccine for adults

The incubation period for some common diseases includes:

  • Adenovirus – 2 to 14 days, leading to a sore throat, fever, and pink eye
  • Vomiting after exposure to Bacillus cereus, a type of food poisoning – 30 minutes to 6 hours
  • Clostridium tetani – 3 to 21 days
  • Chickenpox – 10 to 21 days
  • Coxsackievirus infections, such as HFMD – 3 to 6 days
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections – 30 to 50 days
  • E. coli – 10 hours to 6 days
  • E. coli O157:H7 – 1 to 8 days
  • Fifth disease – 4 to 21 days, with the classic ‘slapped cheek’ rash
  • Group A streptococcal infection – 2 to 5 days
  • Group A streptococcal infection – 7 to 10 days
  • Head lice – 7 to 12 days
  • Herpes – 2 to 14 days
  • Influenza – 1 to 4 days
  • Listeria monocytogenes – 1 day to 3 weeks, but can be as long as 2 months
  • Measles – 7 to 18 days
  • Molluscum contagiosum – 2 weeks to 6 months
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis – 2 to 10 weeks
  • Mycoplasma penumoniae – 1 to 4 weeks
  • Norovirus – 12 to 48 hours
  • Pinworms – 1 to 2 months
  • Rabies – 4 to 6 weeks, but can last years
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus – 2 to 8 days
  • Rhinovirus – 2 to 3 days, but may be up to 7 days
  • Roseola – about 9 to 10 days, leading to a few days of fever and then the classic rash once the fever breaks
  • Rotavirus – 1 to 3 days
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms after exposure to Salmonella – 6 to 72 hours
  • Scabies – 4 to 6 weeks
  • Staphylococcus aureus – varies
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae – 1 to 3 days
  • Whooping cough – 5 to 21 days

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What Are The Treatments For Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections

There is no specific treatment for RSV infection. Most infections go away on their own in a week or two. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with the fever and pain. However, do not give aspirin to children. And do not give cough medicine to children under four. It is also important to get enough fluids to prevent dehydration.

Some people with severe infection may need to be hospitalized. There, they might get oxygen, a breathing tube, or a ventilator.

What Tests And Procedures Diagnose Respiratory Syncytial Virus

A history and physical to evaluate symptoms may be all that is done when respiratory syncytial virus is suspected. If a patient has symptoms of a common cold, there is usually no testing that needs to be done. In people with a higher risk for severe infection, a viral detection test may be ordered to make a diagnosis. This is a lab test that analyzes nasal drainage and can help determine if RSV is present to take steps to prevent the spread of the virus. If RSV symptoms worsen or if complications such as pneumonia or bronchiolitis are suspected, tests may be performed, including

There is no specific treatment for respiratory syncytial virus disease. In mild to moderate infections, home care is usually all that is needed and medications are not usually prescribed.

Because RSV is a virus, antibiotics are not usually needed. However, if a secondary bacterial infection develops, antibiotics may be prescribed.

In severe cases, infants or children who develop RSV bronchiolitis may need to be hospitalized. Treatment may include supplemental oxygen, suctioning of mucus, and IV fluids to prevent dehydration. Elderly adults with compromised immune systems may require similar treatment. Newly revised recommendations do not endorse the use of ribavirin breathing treatments to help limit wheezing.

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Treatment For Rsv Infection

There is usually no need for treatment other than paracetamol for fever and maintaining adequate fluid intake. Aspirin should not be given to children under 12 years of age unless specifically recommended by a doctor.

Very ill children and elderly people may require admission to hospital and treatment is supportive. Because RSV is a virus, antibiotics do not help. There are no safe and effective antiviral drugs for routine use for RSV.

Pneumovirinae: Human Metapneumovirus And Respiratory Syncytial Virus Bronchiolitis

What Is Respiratory Syncytial Virus and How Contagious Is It?

In accordance with their genetic homology, RSV and hMPV share most of their encoded proteins28 and establish infection in young children worldwide with astonishing reliability. RSV dependably causes yearly epidemics during the winter and spring months in most geographic regions. Infection with RSV is nearly universal among infants and children by 2 years of age, and after 5 years of age, almost all children show serologic evidence of prior infection with hMPV.29 Each of these viruses has developed a distinct repertoire of techniques to evade the host immune response. hMPV, for example, subverts the innate immune response by inhibiting Toll-Like Receptor 4 and TLR 7dependent activation of the cascade of cellular signaling events in airway epithelial cells that culminate in the expression of interferon- and -.28

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How Is Rsv Different Than Coronavirus Croup Bronchiolitis Or Pneumonia Can Rsv Cause Other Respiratory Viruses

Payden provides some insights into other viruses:

  • RSV and coronaviruses are two different viruses that can present similarly.
  • Croup is a condition that is characterized by inspiratory stridor , hoarseness and barking cough. It can be caused by several viruses, such as parainfluenza, RSV, coronaviruses, and influenza.
  • Bronchiolitis is a syndrome usually present in children younger than two. Symptoms include fever, cough, respiratory distress and upper respiratory signs . It can be caused by several viruses including RSV, influenza, parainfluenza, and human metapneumovirus .
  • Pneumonia is a condition that is widely varying. Common pneumonia that people refer to is community-acquired pneumonia. Symptoms can vary widely from cough and mild shortness of breath to respiratory distress, fever and sepsis. This can be caused by viruses, bacteria and rarely, even some fungi in immunocompromised patients.

Who Is At Risk For Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections

RSV can affect people of all ages. But it is very common in small children nearly all children become infected with RSV by age 2. In the United States, RSV infections usually occur during fall, winter, or spring.

Certain people are at higher risk of having a severe RSV infection:

  • Infants
  • Older adults, especially those age 65 and older
  • People with chronic medical conditions such as heart or lung disease
  • People with weakened immune systems

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Prevention Of Rsv Infection

  • Exclude people with RSV from childcare, preschool, school and work until they are well.
  • There is currently no vaccine available.
  • Frequent hand washing is the most effective means of preventing spread, as the virus is easily killed by soap and water.
  • Avoid sharing cups, glasses and eating utensils with people who have respiratory infections.
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or your arm. Drop used tissues immediately into a rubbish bin, and then wash your hands.

When Should You Call Your Doctor

Rising cases of respiratory syncytial virus, other respiratory issues in children

See your doctor right away if your baby or child has moderate trouble breathing.

  • Breathes slightly faster than normal and seems to be getting worse. Most healthy children breathe less than 40 times a minute.
  • Has cold symptoms that become severe.
  • Has shallow coughing, which continues throughout the day and night.
  • Has poor appetite or decreased activity level.
  • Has any trouble breathing.

For more information on what to do if your child has trouble breathing, see Respiratory Problems, Age 11 and Younger.

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