A so-called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes mass illness among Hungarian children below 2. At the Semmelweis University, the number of small children treated with respiratory symptoms increased tenfold, they said. Attila Szabó, chairman of the paediatrics branch of the hospital, said that RSV is a well-known pathogen.
According to Helló Magyar, RSV is a virulent pathogen transmitted via inhalation of droplets. However, it has not caused an epidemic for decades. It is dangerous for newborns and babies. In their case, it can cause severe inflammation of the respiratory system. Furthermore, it might result in pneumonia inhibiting oxygen uptake.
The peak of RSV infections is in late autumn and the winter months.
However, this year that changed since many patients came already from October. Attila Szabó highlighted that the 4-5-day-long incubation period helped the spread of the virus.
RSV does not cause severe symptoms in the case of older children or adults. They mostly experience only a runny nose, higher body temperature, or lack of appetite. Therefore, they are a risk only of spreading the virus. Mr Szabó highlighted that there is no treatment or medicine for RSV. Thus, parents should concentrate on prevention. Using a mask, washing your hands regularly, or social distancing can help. The RSV
remains virulent for 7-8 hours even on solid surfaces like door handles or phones.
Mr Szabó said that one should turn to a doctor in case of unappeasable coughing fit, panting or hyperventilation. If a newborn or a premature refuses to eat, we should take that as a warning sign, as well. This year they met even 6-year-old children requiring hospital treatment with RSV.
There is no vaccine for RSV.
However, children below two are entitled to passive immunisation, meaning antibody injection into the muscles. However, that provides only short-term immunity. To identify the disease, we can use quick tests and children PCR. A positive result does not mean quarantine or hospital treatment, Mr Szabó said.
Source: Helló Magyar