Fall is a favorite season for many people. From pumpkin spice, to everything nice, fall definitely has it’s charm. However, as the seasons change and the weather get colder, more people get sick. While many think it is the cold weather, it is actually because a virus can replicate and spread most effectively when the air is cold and dry.
The Respiratory syncytial virus, also known as RSV, causes infections of the lungs and respiratory tract. The virus enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth – most likely when someone coughs or sneezes near you or shakes your hand. The virus can also live for hours on hard objects such as counter tops, toys, railings and more. If you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after touching a contaminated object, you could pick up the virus.
Most healthy adults will get RSV and experience mild cold-like signs and symptoms, such as including runny nose, dry cough, sore throat or a mild headache. However, RSV can cause severe infection in some people, especially pre-mature babies, older adults, infants or anyone with a weak immune system. Each year in the United States (according to the CDC), an estimated 57,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized due to an RSV infection. Those at greatest risks are pre-mature babies, and very young infants, especially those 6 months and younger. One to two out of every 100 children younger than 6 months of age with RSV infection may need to be hospitalized according to the CDC. Those who are hospitalized may require oxygen, intubation and or mechanical ventilation (help with breathing) due to more severe symptoms including bronchiolitis, inflammation of the small airways in the lung, or pneumonia, infection of the lungs.
Right now, there is no vaccine to prevent RSV infection, but pharmaceutical companies and Rochester Clinical Research is working hard to develop and get one approved. If you would like to help with the advancement of medicine, specifically to help protect our future generations against RSV, we encourage you to participate in some of the RSV vaccine trials occurring soon at RCR. Call 585-288-0890 to see if you qualify for one today!