There is currently a surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases.data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention RSV tests rose almost vertically over the past few weeks, indicating a return to positivity. A whopping 18.2% to be exact. You may have heard that this type of infection is common in children and babies, but what about her RSV as an adult?Is that a valid concern?
Almost all children will be infected with RSV by the age of two. CDCBut says anyone can get RSV Thomas Russo, MD, Professor and Director of Infectious Diseases at the University of Buffalo, New York.However, children and the elderly most likely Serious complications from viruses can develop, including bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia (lung infection).
Note that RSV is nothing new. discovered Dating back to 1956. But why are there so many cases of RSV now, many of which are related to his COVID-19 pandemic, says Dr. Russo. RSV is a common infectious disease that surges each year, but when people stay home COVID-19 (new coronavirus infectious disease)they were also less likely to pick up RSV. “COVID precautions also work against RSV,” he says.
If you are a generally healthy adult, RSV should not stress you out. flu-like symptoms That’s all. However, it makes sense for people with underlying conditions that affect the lungs, such as asthma, to be cautious.
Here’s what you need to know about RSV in adults and how to treat it.
Meet an expert: Thomas RussoMD, is a professor and director of infectious diseases at the University of Buffalo, New York.
Amesh Adalja, MD, is a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and adjunct assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His research focuses on emerging infectious diseases, pandemic preparedness, and biosecurity.
What is RSV?
RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild cold-like symptoms. CDCMost people who get the virus recover in a week or two, but complications such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia can develop.
There are many different types of RSV. “RSV has two main groups, he said: RSVA, RSV B, and multiple types within those groups,” said the infectious disease expert. Amesh Adalja, MD, senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. But Dr. Russo says they’re still pretty similar.
Unfortunately, anyone can get RSV, and symptoms of RSV in adults include: CDC:
- runny nose
- loss of appetite
Symptoms usually appear in stages, the CDC says. As a result, you may have a runny nose followed by a cough.
Is RSV infection serious in adults?
it depends. In general, RSV causes cold-like symptoms in adults, but there is always a risk of developing more serious complications, especially fatal pneumonia, says Dr. Russo.
Dr. Adalja compares the potential complications of RSV to those you may experience with the flu. The elderly, young children, and those with underlying medical conditions such as asthma and congestive heart failure are at highest risk of developing complications. CDC Say.
However, in most cases, RSV symptoms resolve within a week or two. CDC.
How long does RSV infection last in adults?
A person who has RSV is usually contagious for 3 to 8 days. CDC Say. And here’s the kicker. You may be infected a day or two before symptoms appear.
There are some differences depending on the person. Some infants and people with weakened immune systems can spread RSV to her four weeks, according to the CDC.
If you are infected with RSV, CDC In order not to pass it on to others, we recommend that you do the following:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or jacket sleeve (i.e. not your hands).
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact with others, such as kissing, shaking hands, sharing cups and utensils
- Clean frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs and phones
Ideally, anyone with cold-like symptoms would be a premature infant, a child under the age of 2 with a chronic lung or heart condition, a child with a weakened immune system, or a neuromuscular disorder. , should not interact with children who are at high risk for severe cases of RSV disease. .
How are adults tested for RSV?
If you’re sick, doctors may suspect RSV, but Dr. Russo notes that symptoms tend to overlap with those of the flu and COVID-19. I have.
Usually this means getting a quick test. nasal swabResults come back in about 15 minutes, says Dr. Russo. And if he happens to have symptoms and goes to the hospital, he can be tested for RSV, COVID-19, and flu in one test, he says.
How is RSV infection treated in adults?
There is no specific treatment for RSV in adults. Instead, the CDC recommends taking over-the-counter fever reducers and pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen as needed, and drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
If you have a sore throat or cough, you can also use a sore throat medicine, and a decongestant if you find it hard to breathe, Dr. Russo says.
Again, most people feel like they have a cold when they have RSV. , talk to your doctor about next steps.
To the point: If you are a generally healthy adult, RSV can cause mild cold-like symptoms that can be managed at home. Be careful not to spread the virus to people with underlying medical conditions.
Korin Miller is a freelance writer who specializes in general health, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, and has appeared in men’s health, women’s health, self, glamour, and more. . She has a master’s degree from American University, she lives by the sea, and one day she hopes to own a teacup, a pig and an octopus her truck.