The Public Health Agency’s surveillance of RSV shows that the season’s epidemic started unusually early, already in early September. So far, the season has been marked by early and increased sampling, and by a rapid increase in the number of cases among children under five. Several regions reported a heavy burden on childcare.
The main reason for the early and intense onset of this year’s epidemic is the low immunity of the population. This is especially true of young children because the prevalence of RSV has decreased over the past two years, says investigator Anasara Karnahan.
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Advice during the pandemic to keep your social distance in a small circle has contributed to a decrease in the spread of the RS virus. The RSV’s most recent high activity season was in 2018-2019. Therefore, there are many groups of children who have not yet become infected. Combined with people who gather more indoors during the fall, it contributes to the spread of infection. It is still too early to say when the current season will peak and how long the spread will last.
For adults and older children, infection with the RS virus usually presents as a common cold. Younger children, especially those under one year of age, can become seriously ill with severe coughing and difficulty breathing. People over 65 and other susceptible people may need hospital care in connection with the illness.
It is important to protect young children
It is important to protect young children from respiratory syncytial virus infection, especially children under six months of age. At the same time, it is important to provide social support and context for new parents. The following tips are for guardians and other people who are in close contact with infants for six months:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or rubbing alcohol
- Avoid contact with people who have colds
Children who go to nursery school are at risk of contracting RS there and transmitting the infection home. Therefore, teach older siblings to always wash their hands before playing with the infant. Pay more attention to symptoms between siblings and then reduce physical contact between siblings and the infant.
Briefly about the RS . virus
- The RS virus spreads through direct contact, contact with infected objects, and through droplet infection.
- Good hand hygiene prevents infection.
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