Common Virus Can Lead to Life-Threatening Conditions in Children

ScienceDaily (Mar. 16, 2012) — Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common virus that infects the lungs and breathing passage ways. Though it may only produce minor cold symptoms in adults, it can lead to serious illness in young children and those with compromised immune systems.

“This is an extremely contagious virus, so it can easily be spread from one child to another in a school or home setting. We continue to see a large amount of kids being admitted to the hospital this year due to RSV. Though it often peaks in winter, the virus may continue to affect communities through early spring,” said Rahul Bhatia, MD, pediatric intensive care unit physician at Loyola University Health System and assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, RSV is the leading cause of bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways in the lung, in infants under the age of 1. Most children will have been exposed to RSV by their second birthday.


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