The respiratory syncytial virus spreads in Egypt and the United States of America, and new cases began to appear in other countries, which raised the concerns of some parents about their children, especially after the Corona virus crisis.
There are warnings of the emergence of more cases in several countries, with lower temperatures and the start of the school year in attendance, which increases infection cases among students.
What is respiratory syncytial virus? And how can it be prevented? Should we panic from a new virus wave?
Member of the Egyptian Society for Allergy and Immunology, Dr. Magdy Badran, explains that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects 73 percent of children, and it is a very common respiratory virus.
And he continues in an interview with Al-Hurra website that this virus, which spreads in the winter and early spring months, is the most common cause of inflammation of the small airways in the lungs and pneumonia in children. And it is the second cause of death during the first year of a child’s life after malaria, indicating that between 100,000 and 200,000 children die around the world because of the virus every year.
Within the context, Dr. Naji Aoun, a specialist in bacterial and infectious diseases, indicates that this infection, for which there is no medicine or vaccine, has spread to several countries, from the United States of America to Egypt and Lebanon.
Aoun stresses in an interview with Al-Hurra that “a person with respiratory syncytial virus should not take medication without consulting a doctor, because many patients prescribed themselves medications containing cortisone, which led to the deterioration of their health.”
Aoun said, “This virus often spreads at the beginning of the school year, especially when the weather begins to change and temperatures drop.”
Respiratory specialist Dr. Jihan Al-Assal confirms to Al-Hurra that “prevention of the virus is through social distancing, washing hands and taking care of personal hygiene, in addition to wearing a muzzle,” explaining that it is “the same way to prevent other viruses.”
For his part, Badran points out that “there are many ways of infection with the respiratory syncytial virus, and it can spread through droplets in the air when an infected person coughs, and through contact with contaminated surfaces, where the virus can live for hours.”
As well as through kisses and peace, it can also spread through direct contact such as kissing the face of an infected child.
Therefore, Aoun indicates that the spread of this virus “is in the same way as the Corona virus, and it has almost the same symptoms and complications, but it is less severe than Corona in terms of the common cold.”
Al-Assal confirms that “there is no need to panic, because the respiratory syncytial virus is not new, and it is seasonal,” and explains that “during the past two years, the dominant virus was corona, but this year all viruses are expected to appear, such as influenza and syncytial virus.”
Al-Assal says, “During this period, the respiratory syncytial virus spreads in several countries, so it is expected that there will be more infections, but most of them are simple cases.”
Badran notes that “those infected with respiratory syncytial virus pose a risk of transmitting the infection for a period ranging from three to eight days.”
He said, “What is dangerous is that those who suffer from a lack of immunity turn into a source of infection, for a period that extends beyond the cessation of symptoms, and the period may reach four weeks.”
Badran said, “Children are exposed to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) outside the home at school or child care centers, and then they transmit the virus to the home.”
He explains that “the symptoms of infection with the respiratory syncytial virus appear after 4 to 6 days have passed, and they are similar to a slight cold, such as a runny nose, coughing, a slight increase in temperature, and a headache.”
“The virus is highly contagious, and it spreads in most countries of the world from November to March,” Badran said.
He pointed out that “the situation is safe and does not require postponing the study.”
He stressed the need to wash hands frequently, take care of personal hygiene to ensure that there is no infection, and maintain physical distance from anyone with a respiratory infection.