This fall can be a bad season for viruses. of Flu is spreading rapidly.Covid-19 continues to kill more than 300 people on average every day, and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, on the rise..
To make matters worse, these viruses look the same in the people they infect, with similar symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, fever, and more.
Not being able to tell what kind of illness you have makes these viruses even more dangerous. Certain diseases are more serious for certain populations, and RSV is especially dangerous for children (and is more common in children).
There are ways to detect RSV, including tests at your doctor’s office. Home experiments. If you get tested, you will know for sure that you have this virus, which will help you protect yourself and your loved ones. But symptoms can give some indication. Experts shared with HuffPost the most common RSV symptoms in children, healthy adults and immunocompromised adults. Here’s what you need to know:
RSV is more common in children.
“RSV is traditionally especially dangerous for young children under 5 years of age. [those] Less than 2″. Dr. Purva GroverCleveland Clinic Pediatric Emergency Department Medical Director. It is a virus that affects their respiratory system and their ability to breathe.
What’s different this year is that RSV is also showing up in children between the ages of 8 and 10. And it’s proving to be dangerous for children in this age group, something that hasn’t been seen before, Grover added.
For children, irritability and loss of appetite are bigger red flags than sinus issues and coughs.
according to Centers for Disease Control and PreventionChildren infected with RSV may have runny nose, congestion, cough, fever, or poor appetite. Frustration is a common symptom in infants, loss of appetite. These symptoms also do not occur all at once – they occur at different times during the course of the illness.
RSV is really common in children, so common, in fact, that the CDC says, “Almost all of them get an RSV infection by their second birthday.”
While many children get RSV and recover well, this is not the case for everyone. When children are having trouble breathing — like wheezing or gasping for air — it’s often a concern when parents bring them to the emergency room for treatment.
“Kids come to the ER usually in three to four days,” Grover said. “The virus starts to reach its peak, at that time it is the highest viral load, and parents bring their children because of respiratory problems.”
Additionally, children are often dehydrated when suffering from RSV, as they breathe quickly to try and take in enough air.
“THey, they’re having a hard time drinking and what they’re drinking is changing fast,” Grover said.
In immunocompromised adults, RSV symptoms may resemble the flu and progress to pneumonia.
In adults, the worst effects of RSV are often seen in immunocompromised people Dr. Caesar AriasChief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Houston Methodist Hospital and Associate Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at Houston Methodist Research Institute.
People who fall into this category are generally undergoing chemotherapy, are organ or bone marrow transplant recipients, or are taking immunosuppressive drugs, Arya said.
In this case “The infection provides [with] Flu-like symptoms eventually progress to pneumonia,” he said.
He added that the symptoms of pneumonia vary from person to person depending on their immune system. “It could be a lot. [coughing] In the most severe approach where the respiratory condition is affected, this means that the infected person has difficulty breathing.
He also pointed out that people who are at high risk of serious diseases and who notice these dangerous symptoms go to the hospital for treatment.
Even if you don’t have cancer or have had an organ transplant, common chronic conditions like diabetes, advanced heart disease and COPD can still put you at risk for severe RSV symptoms, he cautions.
“Even a mild infection can push you over the edge, depending on your physiological reserve,” Arias said. If you have heart problems or lung problems, RSV can be difficult for your body to manage and can lead to heart failure or other respiratory issues related to stress on your body.
Many adults with RSV experience mild symptoms that resemble a sinus infection or the flu.
If you’re an adult with a healthy immune system, you probably don’t need to worry too much about your own health if you get RSV.
“We have not seen a serious train of hospitalizations due to RSV exposure. [non-immunocompromised adult] People,” Arya said. But that doesn’t mean healthy adults don’t get sick and don’t seek medical help from their primary care physicians.
For immunocompromised adults, symptoms are generally mild and similar to a cold or sinus infection. RSV is an upper respiratory tract infection, so Grover said healthy adults can expect symptoms such as runny nose and congestion.
Adults should watch for shortness of breath, chest pain and shortness of breath, which are all common symptoms of RSV, she said. In addition, healthy adults can expect a low-grade fever, sore throat and cough. According to the Mayo Clinic.
Adults with generally healthy immune systems can ‘fight’ this virus, but this does not stop it from spreading
Immunocompromised adults can “fight” this virus due to their strong immune system, so the symptoms can be very mild.
But, as seen with Covid-19, “It might be okay to tease you, but [if spread], it can literally kill the young and the old,” Grover said. This is especially the case for caregivers of children or loved ones, or adults with weakened immune systems.
Both Grover and Aria said to protect yourself and others, wear a mask in crowded places, stay home if you’re sick, practice good hand hygiene and make sure you’re up to date on your Covid-19 vaccinations. Especially with A new bivalent COVID-19 stimulusAnd they got it Your flu shot.
There is no vaccine for RSV, although vaccines are available. Currently under development.
If you have Aries symptoms, it’s also a good idea to get tested, as it can help determine what type of virus you have and the best treatment plan. There is a three-in-one test that tests for the flu, RSV and Covid-19.
Three highly contagious and deadly viruses spread quickly, so it’s important to be careful. And in terms of RSV, “Actually, I consider them all carriers at this point,” Grover said.