Thursday, December 31, 2009

Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. RSV is also very contagious, as Dr. Edward Hill explains in todays 60 Second Second Housecall.

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, causes an illness that resembles a severe cold. It is very contagious. RSV usually resolves on its own and does not cause major health problems. It can become severe or lead to complications, particularly in babies. Those at risk for RSV include babies born prematurely, people with immune problems, heart or lung problems, and older adults.

RSV infection is caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory tractthe nose, eyes, throat and lungs. Infection spreads from person to person through everyday contact.

RSV infections cause symptoms like those of a common cold: a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, wheezing and coughing, low-grade fever and earache. Babies may have symptoms that include listlessness, lack of appetite and irritability.

Symptoms gradually resolve after 10 to 14 days. Your age, general health and severity of the infection affect recovery time. Measures to help relieve symptoms are usually all that is needed. Some babies with RSV infection require hospitalization.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.