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Respiratory Syncytial Virus Causes and Diagnosis


Causes and Diagnosis of Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Meaning of Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Respiratory syncytial virus infection is a disease characterized by respiratory disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus. Respiratory syncytial virus infection can occur all year round, but it is mostly in winter and spring, with men slightly higher than women. The clinical features of this disease are cough, wheezing, and dyspnea. Severe cases may be complicated by heart failure. The virus can survive on the surface of various objects and the surface of unwashed hands for several hours. It can be infected through direct contact with virus-contaminated objects or direct contact with aerosols.



Visiting department:    Pediatrics

Multiple groups    Baby boy within one year of birth

Common causes:    Respiratory syncytial virus infection

Common symptoms:    Cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing


    What is the Cause of Respiratory Syncytial Virus?


    The disease is caused by infection with respiratory syncytial virus.


    What are the Clinical Manifestations of Respiratory Syncitical Virus infection?

    1. Epimediology 


    Mainly occurs in infants within one year of age, more common in boys. Elderly people and people with low immunity can also get sick. The incubation period is 3 to 7 days, and it usually occurs in winter and spring.

    2. Systemic Symptoms

    The clinical manifestations of this disease are diverse, mostly manifesting as symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, and about 25% to 40% of infants show symptoms such as bronchitis, bronchiolitis, asthma and pneumonia.

    Onset of upper respiratory symptoms such as low fever, runny nose and loss of appetite is common, followed by cough, often with wheezing, moderate shortness of breath, increased nasal discharge, and intermittent fever.



     Preterm infants and younger months are infected with respiratory syncytial virus and can show paroxysmal apnea without obvious respiratory symptoms. 
    There may be diffuse thin snoring and wheezing in the lungs.

    3. Skin symptoms


    A few children with respiratory syncytial virus infection may have simple erythema on the face and trunk.

    4. Other

    Respiratory syncytial virus infection in adults is a common symptom of upper respiratory tract infection. 
    The elderly can cause febrile bronchitis and pneumonia. 

    What tests (Diagnosis) are done for Respiratory Syncytial Virus?




    1. Auscultation


    There may be diffuse thin snoring and wheezing in the lungs.

    2. Laboratory inspection


    (1) The total number of white blood cells is normal or slightly reduced, the number of lymphocytes is relatively increased, and the blood sedimentation is normal or increased.

    (2) The virus can be isolated from the patient's nasal wash, nasopharyngeal swab, blood, and sputum by performing chicken embryo culture, animal inoculation, or cell culture.

    (3) Respiratory syncytial virus antigen can be detected in the respiratory secretions of patients by immunofluorescence, which has diagnostic value.

    3. X-ray inspection


    X-ray chest radiograph shows a little or flaky shadow in both lungs, emphysema in different degrees in about one-third of the cases. During bronchiolitis, obstructive emphysema can be seen in the lungs to varying degrees, and peribronchitis images or thickening of the lung texture can be seen.
    In some cases, alveoli are involved and small patches are seen.

    What are causes and  tests (Diagnosis) are done for Respiratory Syncytial Virus?


    What Diagnosis is done for Respiratory Syncytial Virus?


    Typical respiratory symptoms such as cough, wheezing and specific high-incidence seasons are mainly infants and children, and are the main reference for clinical diagnosis.

    Examination mainly depends on the observation of chest X-ray pictures, immunofluorescence, virus isolation, combined with epidemiological history and laboratory examinations to make a diagnosis.



    What Treatment is done for Respiratory Syncytial Virus?


    1. Supportive treatment


    Symptomatic and supportive treatment is extremely important. Patients with difficulty breathing should pay attention to blood gas analysis, stop asthma, and inhale oxygen.

    2. Drug treatment


    Immunoglobulin: In severe cases, intravenous immunoglobulin can be injected.



    What is the Prevention Method from Respiratory Syncytial Virus?

    1. Disinfect pollutants and hands to isolate patients. During the epidemic, attention should be paid to avoid crowd gathering and close contact with infected persons, etc., which can help reduce the respiratory syncytial virus infection rate.


    2. Palizumab is the only preventive drug for respiratory syncytial virus infection, but it is very expensive.
    Respiratory syncytial virus is an RNA virus belonging to the family Paramyxoviridae.
    The disease is transmitted through air droplets and close contact. More common in newborns and infants under 6 months.

    The incubation period is 3 to 7 days. Infants and toddlers have more severe symptoms, which may include high fever, rhinitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis, and later manifested as bronchiolitis and pneumonia. A small number of children may be complicated by otitis media, pleurisy and myocarditis.
    In adults and older children, upper respiratory tract infections are the main manifestations. 

    Confirm the diagnosis of the virus and perform serum complement binding test and neutralization test. 
    Using immunofluorescence technology to check viral antigens in nasopharyngeal secretions can be used for rapid diagnosis. 

    Treatment is mainly based on supportive and symptomatic treatment. Antibiotics can be used for secondary bacterial infections. 
    Prevention with other viral respiratory infections.
      

    Health test, how to deal with respiratory syncytial virus infection?


    Respiratory syncytial virus, RSV for short, belongs to the genus Pneumovirus of the Paramyxoviridae family and is generally considered to have only one serotype.

    RSV is known as one of the important pathogens of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children.
    It can cause bronchiolitis and pneumonia, often leading to the need for hospitalization and even death. 

    After respiratory syncytial virus infection, it mainly brings fine capillary bronchial congestion, edema, and increased secretion of mucus.
    In addition, the necrotic mucosal epithelial cells fall off and block the lumen.

    It can involve alveoli, alveolar walls, and interstitial lungs, so it is also considered a special type of pneumonia.
     How to identify and prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection?
    Take your question with you to the survey.



    Which of the following statements about respiratory syncytial virus infection do you think is correct?


    A. Respiratory syncytial virus does not cause adult infection


    B. Vaccination can prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection

    C. respiratory syncytial virus spread mainly by droplets

    D. antibiotics are the main treatment for respiratory syncytial virus infection

    The correct answer is C Respiratory syncytial virus is transmitted mainly by droplets.

    Answer explanation

    In the past, respiratory syncytial virus mainly infected children, especially infants and young children.
    However, clinical observations in recent years found that respiratory syncytial virus also affects adults.
    It is estimated that 3% to 10% of adults are infected with respiratory syncytial virus each year. 

    Cytovirus can cause severe lower respiratory infections in the elderly and people with other chronic diseases.
    At present, no effective vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus has been approved for clinical use.

    Although related vaccine research has progressed, there is still a long way to go before it is widely used. Therefore, it is especially important to prevent cross-infection and timely treatment.

    Respiratory syncytial virus is mainly transmitted through droplets and close contact. It is more likely to spread in winter and spring. The virus will appear densely in places where people live, the environment is dirty, the air is dry, and sanitary conditions are poor. 

    To prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection, it is necessary to avoid contact with relevant groups, develop sanitary habits such as careful hand washing, and strengthen resistance through exercise and nutritional balance.

    The incubation period of respiratory syncytial virus infection is usually 3 to 7 days. 
    The infected person will have fever and cough. The infected person will pass the virus through droplets and mucus droplets through coughing and sneezing, which will cause human-to-human transmission.

    After infection, it can cause diseases including upper respiratory tract infection, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, etc., cause nasal congestion, chest tightness, wheezing, dyspnea, etc., and can cause apnea in infants.

    The severity of symptoms is related to the function of the immune system. After an infection, it does not form immunity, and it may still be infected again in the future.

    The diagnosis of respiratory syncytial virus infection is mainly based on clinical symptoms.
    The use of throat swabs and culture for testing can help confirm the diagnosis, but this test is not available in all medical institutions.

    No specific Treatment of RSV

    Currently, there is no specific treatment for respiratory syncytial virus infection, and antibiotics are not effective for this type of infection. 

    Most patients can improve symptoms within 1 to 2 weeks after infection, but severe cases require hospitalization.
    It is currently believed that specific syncytial virus immunoglobulins have therapeutic effects, and certain drugs can reduce fever and wheezing symptoms.
    However, the main treatment method is symptomatic treatment. 

    Severe children can cooperate with nebulization and inhalation, keep the airway open, and prevent complications such as rhinitis and pharyngitis and secondary infections.


    Author's Bio

    Doctor Shawna Reason, Virologist
    Dr. Shawna Reason
    Name: Shawna Reason

    Education: MBBS, MD

    Occupation: Medical Doctor / Virologist 

    Specialization: Medical Science, Micro Biology / Virology, Natural Treatment

    Experience: 15 Years as a Medical Practitioner

    About Me | Linkedin | Quora Profile | Medium Profile | Twitter


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