Respiratory Syncytial Virus / Bronchiolitis Term Paper
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Subtype a is the one that predominates in many of the outbreaks that are seen and presents much more severe clinical illness. It affects both the lower and the upper respiratory tract but is most prevalent in illnesses of the lower respiratory tract such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia. The obstruction of the airway in RSV can be very dangerous, and this is especially true of infants because their peripheral airways are much smaller than adults. Because of this it is very important to know what the warning signs of the illness are so that children can be treated properly and can recover fully. Infants between age two months and six months are most at risk for RSV, as are premature babies and babies that have other problems that may make their immune system not as efficient such as those that have lung conditions, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis, a lack of breast-feeding, older siblings within the home environment, daycare attendance, strong exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke,
and a lower socioeconomic status which often correlates with fewer doctor visits and treatment (www.rsvinfo.com, n.d.).
The treatment for RSV varies between children based on the severity of the disease. For those that have only mild disease the only treatment necessary is the treatment of symptoms such as the giving of acetaminophen in order to reduce fever. In general, in other words, mild RSV is treated basically like a common cold or other mild respiratory illness. Children that have a severe form of the disease, however, often need oxygen therapy and sometimes they even require mechanical ventilation with a breathing machine. Currently researchers are working on a vaccine for RSV but since there are none yet available those that are at high risk must take care and parents must work to protect young children and newborn babies from the illness (www.cdc.gov,2005).
Works Cited www.cdc.gov.(2005). Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Retrieved 8 February 2005 at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/respiratory/rsvfeat.htm.
A www.rsvinfo.com.(n.d.). RSV. Retrieved 7 February 2005 at http://www.rsvinfo.com/diagnosing/diagnosing.html.
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