Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2021

Pediatricians are reporting record numbers of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) this year. After a year of social distancing, young children are catching colds and flu as they head back to school and daycare, but RSV is particularly concerning as it can result in lung infection and inflammation. If you care for young children, here are four things pediatric infectious disease physician Patrick Gavigan wants you to keep in mind.

Who is most at risk?

The early symptoms of RSV are similar to the common cold: runny nose, congestion, maybe a little cough, and these symptoms usually peak five to seven days after their onset. Although most children will have RSV before age two, premature infants, infants younger than six months, those with compromised immune systems, and those with neuromuscular disorders are most at risk for serious illness.

How do you know if an RSV case is severe?

The only way to identify RSV for sure is with a nasal swab, but fast breathing, sucking in of the stomach, and apnea─a pause between breaths─are all signs of progressing RSV. Children will also usually lose appetite or seem to be working harder to breathe while feeding.

What is the link between Covid-19 and RSV? 

Although RSV rates were down during shutdowns, as we open back up, cases are rising and doctors are also seeing an increase of Covid-19 cases with RSV complications. Gavigan recommends having children wear masks if they are old enough to do so, especially older children with siblings under two who cannot wear masks.

How to prevent RSV

The lack of RSV and influenza cases last year demonstrates the efficacy of public health measures like mask wearing, hand washing, and staying home if you feel sick. Disinfect high-contact surfaces like doorknobs and countertops and, if your child is over six months, talk to your pediatrician about the flu shot.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Popcorn may be the next sustainable building material

Popcorn is more than just a tasty snack to munch on while at the movies—it may soon be widely used as a natural and eco-friendly alternative to man made home insulation. Scientists at Göttingen University ... Read More

Want to get students engaged? Consider career-based classes

Students who are engaged in the classroom are more likely to participate and retain more information, but what exactly keeps kids engaged? Researchers from Ohio State University surveyed 20,000 high school students across the US ... Read More

This 3D-printed eye is an eye-conic development for digital prosthetics

According to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, Steve Verze, a 47-year-old engineer from Hackney, has been the fortunate recipient of the world’s first 3D printed eyeball. He first tried the eye on for size earlier ... Read More

Senegal’s only circus troupe helps homeless children get off the streets

Senegal has exactly one circus troupe: Sencirk—and it was founded by a former child beggar named Modou Touré. Before taking his place as ringmaster of his own circus, Touré, at the age of seven, was ... Read More

New breakthroughs in nutrient-sensing cells

Did you know immune cells can sense nutrients? A new study from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has identified the biological mechanism behind the phenomenon. The type of immune cells with these special abilities are ... Read More

How to stay warm this winter during outdoor social gatherings

Temperatures are dipping and snowflakes are falling, but that doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to our outdoor social gatherings. Plus, it might not always be safe to gather indoors, and everyone will have ... Read More