Infection Control & First Aid Blog

What is RSV & Who is at Risk?

[fa icon="calendar"] 3/13/19 10:30 AM / by Safetec

During the winter months, children and older adults are particularly at high risk for contracting Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). According to the CDC, almost all children will be infected with RSV by the age of 2.

Portrait of a sick cute little boy lying in a hospital bedRSV is a viral infection which can cause mild cold-like symptoms with sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and wheezing as well as difficulty breathing. Most people affected are able to recover within a week or 2; however, young children and older adults are at high risk for a much more complicated infection period. RSV is the most common cause of Bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children less than one years old.

In most cases of RSV, over-the-counter fever reducers and painkillers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, should suffice for management of symptoms. In cases of RSV for children under six months and anyone experiencing difficulty breathing should be hospitalized. In most cases, this will only last a few days.

The most at-risk people for getting RSV are premature infants, children with a congenital heart or chronic lung condition, children or adults with immunodeficiency, or adults with underlying heart or lung conditions.

RSV can be spread from respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person, from contact with a surface with the virus, or from direct contact by kissing someone on the face who is infected. People infected with RSV are typically only contagious for 3-8 days, but young children with weakened immune systems can be contagious for up to 4 weeks.

To help kill widespread germs that can cause infections, wash your hands regularly with Safetec’s Saniwash® Antimicrobial Hand Wash and water for at least 20 seconds whenever you can. Also, use Safetec’s Instant Hand Sanitizer any chance after touching surfaces like countertops or doorknobs if you are not able to wash your hands. Safetec’s Instant Hand Sanitizer with Fresh Scent kills 99.9% of germs.

Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth after touching any surfaces as that can lead to directly becoming infected by RSV. If you already have an RSV infection, be sure to cover your face during any cough or sneeze as respiratory droplets are the easiest way for RSV to be transmitted.

Topics: Virus

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Written by Safetec