My l yr. old grandson had a fever recently. The next morning when his mom
went to get him he was limp. He was taken to a hospital where they said
he had a seizure, they gave him antibiotics, said l ear was a little red.
At follow up appt. with his pediatrician , parents were told he had RSV.
What is this? Will he outgrow it? Where did he get it? Are his two
sisters (6 & 7), at risk or did they give it to him? Is this serious?
Subject : RSV
RSV is an abbreviation for what is called the " respiratory syncytial virus"
It's a very well known cause of colds and coughs worldwide and tends to peak in the winter season.
RSV is a respiratory virus , infecting the linings of the airways starting from the nose down to the lungs , making them inflamed and congested over a limited period of time after which the natural immunity of the body kicks in and helps the airways shed off the sick lining that was infected , replacing it with new healthy tissue that is able to defend itself against any additional virus load . This may take up to 2 weeks but most symptoms disappear in 5-7 days .
RSV is contagious and would easily be transmitted from one person to another through coughing and sneezing or touching with hands contaminated with nasal discharge .
This virus is so common that it probably visits us once or twice or even more ( depending on how many people actually live at home ) . It shows up as ( the common cold) in older children and adults and can present with sneezing , coughing , sore throat and lots of nasal discharge . This virus is not unique in producing these symptoms , there are many other viruses that can do the same .
RSV has the tendency to target infants younger than 12 months of age with what is called " bronchiolitis or inflammation of the smaller airways" that characteristically presents as a high fever , profuse mucoid /watery nasal discharge , cough , sneezing and occasionally wheezing or even elements of breathing difficulty , depending on how severe the inflammation is . The illness is clearly worse if the infant was premature with lung disease , a generalized muscle weakness ,a congenital heart disease or a problem with the immune system .On the other hand , a healthy infant would recover completely from this infection .
There maybe a small increase in recurrent wheezing episodes in about 40% of children with previous RSV infections only if there was a strong family history of allergies and asthma.
RSV may recur again but symptoms tend to be milder with subsequent re-infections
This information is strictly for academic purposes and the patient's physician is ultimately responsible for the care and management .