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Elderly RSV hospitalization rates are 10 times higher than normal at this time of the season



Respiratory virus season starts early in children this year, flooded children’s hospital Many parts of the country are particularly infected with the respiratory syncytial virus known as RSV.

However, adults can also become infected with RSV. RSV usually doesn’t send that much, but adults to the hospitalcan be a serious and even fatal disease for older people and those with underlying medical conditions.

And as more children get RSV, so does the chance of adults getting RSV.

data show that about 6 out of 100,000 seniors are hospitalized with RSV this season. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is considerably lower than the rate for children, but it is still an uncharacteristically high rate.In the years before the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitalization rates among the elderly were about one-tenth at this point in the season.

Dr. Anne Falsey, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said: published a study As for RSV in adults, there was some increase in RSV in children last summer and early fall, but the United States did not see the usual proportionate increase in RSV in the elderly at that time.

“I think older people were more cautious last year about continuing public health measures like masks and social distancing because they were still worried about the novel coronavirus,” Falsey said. “But this year, we’re starting to see older people being hospitalized again with RSV, because everyone is throwing caution to the wind.”

Too often, RSV flies under the radar of adults, she said. Many people, even doctors, overlook the effects on adults.

“They think of it strictly as a childhood disease, but without testing for it, you can never know what someone is really sick of.

In the United States, tracking viruses such as RSV not so perfect As with Covid-19, it is difficult to know the exact number of adults infected with respiratory syncytial virus.The number of RSV cases sent to dozens of laboratories represents only about one-tenth of the population. Obtained from self-reports and reports shared with CDC.

Based on best estimates, RSV kills 10,000 to 15,000 adults in the United States each year, and about 150,000 are hospitalized for it, Falsey said.

2015 study Eight older adults in developed countries said the disease burden of RSV was ‘substantial’ and calculated that about 14.5% of the 1.5 million adults infected with RSV were hospitalized. People aged 65 and older were more likely to be hospitalized than those aged 50 to her 64.

“Compared to influenza A, it’s not that far behind.

RSV appear in adults just like a child. It may look like a cold and include a runny nose, loss of appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing. Symptoms usually last him one to two weeks and subside with rest and hydration.

However, in some adults, RSV can be dangerous as it can lead to dehydration, breathing problems, more serious illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis, and inflammation of the small airways in the lungs. .

Adults at greatest risk for serious outcomes from RSV are those aged 65 and older.virus can spread rapidly Through nursing homes and long-term care facilities, just like Covid-19 and the flu.

Adults with compromised immune systems should be aware of RSV season. This includes people undergoing cancer treatment, transplant patients, people with HIV, and people taking certain medications that suppress the immune system for diseases such as Crohn’s disease, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. .

Adults with chronic heart or lung disease, such as asthma, COPD, or heart failure, are also more likely to go to the hospital if they get RSV.

An infected person can transmit RSV through coughing or sneezing. If respiratory droplets land on a surface such as a doorknob or desk, and someone else touches it and then touches their face, it can make them sick.

Also, healthy adults are often unaware that they are infected, so the infection spreads. Because it doesn’t usually cause fatigue like the flu or COVID-19, many adults go to work or hop on a plane or bus to trigger allergy symptoms. As it does, it spreads further.

RSV easily infects children and adults.

If you have a cough or other RSV-like symptoms and are in the high-risk category, you should see your doctor and get tested, says Dr. Daphne-Dominique Villanueva.

“We can’t test everyone right now. In an ideal world, we would like to test, but we want to focus on vulnerable people,” Villanueva said. Associate Professor Ph.D., West Virginia University School of Medicine, writing a study on RSV.

The clinic has a swab test that can determine if the illness is flu, RSV or Covid.

There are specific antivirals for flu and Covid-19, but not for RSV. The trick is to test early, also to rule out RSV. Starting Covid or flu antivirals right away can shorten the duration of your illness and prevent the virus from progressing to something more serious.

For RSV, treatment is called supportive care. Stay hydrated. Get some real rest. Please stay home to avoid spreading. Wear a mask around others in your home.

Falsey says when wheezing starts and you feel shortness of breath, it’s a clear signal that you need to see a doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. The hospital can provide supplemental oxygen if needed.

No vaccine protection for RSV, but possible Changed for next season. In the United States, there are four RSV vaccines that may be nearing review by the FDA and more than 10 vaccines in clinical trials. Some are designed to protect young children, while others have been tested on the elderly.

“There are very limited ways to effectively treat it, so we should do whatever we can to prevent the infection in the first place,” Villanueva said.

Protective measures for this busy RSV season sound familiar. Wash your hands frequently, sanitize surfaces, and wear a mask in crowded areas.

“I’d recommend postponing that visit for a week to see your grandchildren, or wearing a mask if you’re going to a crowded place,” Falsey said. I know you’re doing more than that, but if you’re a frail person or you know you have an underlying medical condition, when you find out that RSV is surging, You have to do those things and be careful around kids who are actively sick.




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