What Is RSV Virus?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under the age of one. It is very common, and almost all in U.S.A have had RSV before they have reached the age of three. Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-ul) virus can also attack adults of any age.
RSV Virus Specifics
The RSV virus is known as an RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus. It is part of the Paramyxoviridae family in the class of Pneumovirus.
The virus is variable in shape and size, and RSV RNA codes for 10 specific proteins. There appear to be two subtypes, and there is current ongoing research regarding the importance of these subtypes.
Transmission of RSV
The RSV virus is spread through respiratory secretions, through close contact with infected people, or through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Infection can occur when contaminated material comes into contact with mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth, or nose, and possibly through the inhalation of droplets generated by a sneeze or cough.
In adults and older children, the symptoms of respiratory syncytial virus are similar to the common cold. Self-care measures are usually all that’s needed to relieve any discomfort.
Infection with respiratory syncytial virus can sometimes be severe, especially in premature babies. For older adults and adults with heart and lung diseases, RSV can become serious problem.
RSV in the Environment
RSV is unstable in the environment (surviving only a few hours on environmental surfaces). It is quickly inactivated with soap and water, as well as disinfectants.