Many people have never heard of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Although the symptoms of RSV often mimic a cold, it can be life threatening to premature infants or those with congenital heart or lung disease, and requires special medical attention and treatment.
What is RSV?
Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a contagious virus that commonly impacts children. In fact, nearly all children will get their first RSV infection by age 2, however some are more serious than others and require immediate medical attention. Did you know that RSV disease is the number one reason babies under 12 months old have to be admitted to hospitals in the US? Common symptoms of RSV are similar to other respiratory infections but also include:
- Rapid & deep breathing
- Fever above 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Poor appetite
- Runny nose
For RSV treatment, your doctor may prescribe a bronchodilator to expand airways. If the disease progresses to bronchiolitis, hospitalization for oxygen treatment may be needed. In severe cases, respirators may be needed.
Because RSV is a virus, and not a bacteria, antibiotics, unfortunately, will not help treat RSV. There is a medication therapy that can be used to treat RSV though. Synagis is one prescription medication that is used to help prevent a serious lung disease caused by RSV specifically in children at who are at a higher risk for severe lung disease as a results of RSV.
How is Synagis Given?
Synagis is given to your child as a shot, usually in the thigh muscle, each month during the RSV season (November - April). Your child should receive their first shot before the RSV season in order to help protect them before RSV becomes active. When RSV is most active, your child will need to receive Synagis shots every 28-30 days to help protect them from severe RSV disease. Your child should continue to receive monthly shots of Synagis until the end of RSV season. Please note that your child may still be at risk to get severe RSV disease after receiving Synagis. If your child has an RSV infection, they should continue to get their monthly shots throughout the RSV season to help prevent severe disease from new RSV infections. (Source: synagis.com). Consult with your doctor on the appropriate RSV treatment for your child.
Avella’s pharmacy staff is focused on providing support to parents of children affected by RSV as well as access to highly effective medications used to treat this virus. Learn more about RSV treatment options, as well as treatment resources for you and your family to help prepare for the next RSV season.