The prevalence of cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Egypt has raised concerns among citizens about its seriousness and rate of spread, especially among young children.
And through social media, there have been many observations of parents about the infection of their children with symptoms that were diagnosed with the virus, which is active at this time of the year, wondering about the extent to which children do not go to schools for fear of increasing infections.
Dr. Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, the official spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Health, told Al-Hurra that the syncytial virus is “one of the viruses that infect the respiratory system, and it is the most prevalent this season among viruses that affect the respiratory system.”
And about whether the virus previously existed in Egypt or if it was the first time it appeared, Abdel Ghaffar said that the virus “recurs at this time of the year, and this is not the first time that it appears, like other respiratory viruses, but it is the most among them this year.” “.
He pointed out that “the health situation is normal, and there are no special concerns in light of the instructions provided by the Ministry of Health continuously to prevent infection with this virus and deal with its symptoms when they appear.”
The Ministry of Health provides, through its platforms, a number of instructions for dealing with the virus, pointing to the necessity of rest, drinking plenty of warm fluids, staying away from cigarette smoke, good ventilation, in addition to healthy nutrition, and avoiding kissing children to protect them from infection with respiratory diseases that spread between seasons.
The Ministry stressed the need to adhere to social distancing in schools, maintain hand hygiene, and ensure that classrooms are well ventilated.
Children under 3 years old
Dr. Mohamed Hussein, a pediatric consultant at Misr Hospital for Health Insurance, said, “Syncytogenes virus is a respiratory virus that infects the respiratory system from top to bottom, i.e. from the side of the mouth and nose, and it is called that because its effect occurs after the virus-infected cells fuse together, and it is a virus known since ancient times and not Absolutely new.”
He explained in an interview with the “Al-Hurra” website that “children under 3 years old are most susceptible to infection with this virus, and children under 5 years old are infected, but with fewer infections, and it can be transmitted to adults as well.”
And about the rates of infection with this virus during this period in Egypt, he said, “Currently, the rate of spread of the virus is normal and perhaps less than normal at this time of the year, but interest in it and continuous talk about it, whether from citizens or from doctors and officials, may be the reason for the spread of these concerns, but At the health level, there is no reason for these concerns.
He pointed out that with regard to children in schools, “they will be more susceptible to the spread of infections due to the proximity between children and the possibility of faster transmission through sneezing or coughing and continuous contact between children, so the wearing of masks by children, as well as their teachers, reduces the rates of virus spread significantly with the need for health care for the infected.” them until the symptoms go away, which may last up to 5 days.
Hussein concluded his speech by saying, “Paying attention to personal hygiene and eating healthy, balanced food that enhances immunity are necessary to prevent infection with the respiratory syncytial virus, or to resist it in the event of infection with it, so that complications do not occur that may sometimes require placing the patient on a respirator.”
No intention to disrupt the study
For its part, the Ministry of Education in Egypt directed the educational directorates to apply precautionary measures regarding dealing with infectious diseases and announced the possibility of holding a unified exam determined by schools for students who are absent from exams with an acceptable medical excuse in the school-month exam.
The Ministry directed the directors of the educational directorates to apply all precautionary measures to prevent and deal with infectious diseases within the educational classes, in coordination with the health directorates in the governorates.
The Ministry sent a periodic book to the educational directorates that includes a guide to prevention and dealing with infectious diseases and the health conditions that must be met at the level of educational facilities, in order to preserve the health of students.
Shady Zalta, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education in Egypt, said in media statements that “there is no intention to disrupt studies or for children to stay in their homes and not go to schools.”
He explained that “there is constant coordination between the Ministries of Health and Education to continuously follow up the health conditions of students and take appropriate decisions, and that there are directives from the Ministry to follow up on the situation of students in schools, and in the event of an infection or infection of any student with fatigue, colds or respiratory syncytial virus, the Signing the examination and isolating him, informing his guardian, in addition to the possibility of any sick student obtaining leave from going to school, and presenting him with evidence of a medical excuse when he returns to school after his recovery.