Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)


What is respiratory syncytial virus?

Respiratory syncytial virus is a common type of virus that can lead to a variety of respiratory illnesses in infants and children. In the U.S., this virus usually spreads from person to person during the fall, winter and spring seasons. This virus can affect people of all age groups but is known as one of the most common causes of childhood illness. Typically, this virus causes common cold-like symptoms but can lead to very serious infections in children less than 6 months of age. RSV can also cause lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchiolitis. These infections can be very serious in young infants.

At CompreCare, we provide a variety of specialty therapies for respiratory syncytial virus. Please feel free to contact us at 1-888-644-8326 or email us at info@comprecarehealth.com to learn how we can help you.

How does a respiratory syncytial viral infection occur?

Just like the common cold virus, RSV can spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. Anyone can become infected when coming in contact with another person that has the infection or by touching surfaces that have the virus on it. RSV can survive on tables, doorknobs and other hard and soft surfaces for several hours. Therefore washing your hands, especially before touching your face, is an absolute must.

Adults and children infected with RSV are usually contagious for up to a week, but some infants with less than developed immune systems can be contagious for up to a month. While anyone can contract this infection, there are some people that have a higher risk for serious infection and complications.

Those at risk include:
  • Premature infants
  • Young children with weakened immune systems
  • Young children with congenital heart or lung diseases
  • Infants in crowded child care settings (e.g. daycare)
  • Adults with weakened immune systems
  • Elderly adults
What are the signs and symptoms of respiratory syncytial viral infections?
Common symptoms include:
  • Low-grade fever
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
Very young infants may have other symptoms, such as:
  • Breathing difficulties and wheezing
  • Irritability
  • Decreased activity and unusual tiredness
  • Poor feeding
Severe symptoms that warrant immediate emergency room visit:
  • High fever
  • Severe cough
  • Rapid and/or difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing that presents as a high-pitched whistle when breathing out
  • Bluish color or the skin due to lack of oxygen

If you suspect that your child has RSV or is at risk for contracting RSV, please contact your child’s pediatrician or, for cases with sever symptoms, visit an ER.

How are respiratory syncytial viral infections diagnosed?

In older children and adults, RSV infections will likely go away on their own in 1-2 weeks. More serious infections that require further treatment and possible hospitalization may require lab testing in order to confirm diagnosis. Since the symptoms of this viral infection are very similar to other viral infections, a lab test is the best way to rule out other causes. RSV infection can be confirmed through a lab test known as reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). This test can confirm the presence of the virus. Antigen testing is also available.

What treatments are available for respiratory syncytial viral infections?

Common mild infections only require use of over-the-counter treatments that you would typically use for the common cold. This may include fever-reducers and pain-relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). It is also important to hydrate. More severe cases may require hospitalization, IV fluids and possible oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation (in the most severe cases). There are no specific medications that can be used for the treatment of RSV once contracted.

Therefore, prevention is key! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends prophylaxis for RSV with palivizumab (Synagis) for high-risk infants and young children with underlying medical conditions. Synagis is a medication that is given in monthly intramuscular injections during RSV season (fall, winter and spring). This medication is only preventive and can’t be used to treat RSV. However, if your child contracts RSV, they may continue prophylaxis with Synagis during the RSV season, in order to prevent severe disease.

Specialty medications used:

  • Synagis (palivizumab)
References:

https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/clinical/index.html
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/respiratory-syncytial-virus/symptoms-causes/syc-20353098
https://www.synagis.com/

How to place an order?

CompreCare can accept electronic prescriptions as well as original prescriptions through the mail. Faxed prescriptions must come from your physician’s office only. CompreCare will verify all new controlled substance prescriptions with your physician’s office for validity.

We look forward to servicing all of your prescription medication needs in a fast and friendly way! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-888-644-8326.

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