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The Other Virus

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By Diana Vacchiano, Marketing Coordinator

Last month we covered the increasing severity of the Influenza virus taking its toll on the U.S. population. However, the recent wintertime epidemic of influenza isn’t the only virus filling doctor’s offices and hospitals with feverish, antibiotic-craving patients.  RSV has been hitting the pediatric population at alarming rates.

My close friend’s 3-month old niece was recently rushed to the emergency room after her lungs suddenly collapsed. My friend informed me that her niece was still in the hospital; she had been diagnosed with a viral infection, stabilized and finally transferred out of NICU.

I went into work the following day and started investigating.  Whenever I have a science-related question, I go to one particular coworker who I view as a living encyclopedia. If anyone had the answer, it was him. “RSV,??? he suggested, without thinking twice. I guess my own thoughts and worries about not contracting the flu, made me forget about the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).  What I never realized, however, is how widespread RSV is amongst young children.

According to one of the articles I uncovered, 65% of babies are infected with RSV in the first year of life. The virus is commonly misdiagnosed for the common cold and causes 10 times more infant deaths every year than influenza. Vaccines were tested in the 1960s, but with disastrous results that worsened symptoms; a successful vaccine has eluded scientists for nearly 40 years. Read the full article here for more info on RSV: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-02-respiratory-syncytial-virus-treatment-viral.html.

My friend confirmed, later on, that her niece did in fact have RSV. After hospitalization and undergoing treatment, she has fully recovered and is thankfully doing fine.

To assist you with your RSV research, we have the following products available: