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Lower airway disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus

Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract disease in infants and young children. Most infections due to RSV are mild and do not require hospitalization. RSV causes both upper respiratory tract infections as well as lower respiratory tract infections. Infants with underlying disease states like bronchopulmonary dyslasia, congenital heart disease and prematurity appear more prone to develop severe infection and have a higher incidence of hospitalization. The exact pathogenesis of RSV is not well understood. The mortality associated with primary RSV infection in healthy children is estimated to be between .005% to .02%. In hospitalized children the mortality rate is estimated to be from 1% to 3%. Several treatment modalities in the form of bronchodilators, corticosteroids, ribavirin, intravenous immune gammaglobulin and antibiotics are available. Studies have failed to show the true beneficial effect of any of the above treatment modalities. Supportive care is only needed. The best treatment is the supportive care in the form of oxygen and fluids and close monitoring of the vital signs including oxygen saturation.

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Aggarwal, R. Lower airway disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus. Indian J Pediatr 65, 355–362 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02761127

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02761127

Key words

  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
  • Congenital heart disease (CHD)
  • Intravenous immune gammaglobulin (IVIG)