RSV, a common respiratory virus, can seem like a mild common cold to healthy adults. Most people can recover quickly with self-care in a week or two. But in older adults, especially those with asthma, heart disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the virus can be very severe or even fatal.
How long does RSV last in elderly?
RSV can live on hard surfaces for many hours. It takes between two to eight days from the time a person is exposed to the RSV to show symptoms. Symptoms generally last three to seven days. Most children and adults recover fully in one to two weeks.
Is RSV serious in elderly?
Older adults who get very sick from RSV may need to be hospitalized. Some may even die. Older adults are at greater risk than young adults for serious complications from RSV because our immune systems weaken when we are older.
How is RSV treated in the elderly?
RSV treatment in adults is supportive, including antipyretics, supplemental oxygen, and intravenous fluids as needed. 31 Inhaled or systemic corticosteroids and bronchodilators may be used for elderly patients or patients with preexisting pulmonary conditions (e.g., asthma, COPD) with acute wheezing.
How do adults get RSV?
RSV is an airborne virus that can be spread a few different ways, including: Coughs and sneezes of an infected person. Droplets of the virus from a cough and sneeze getting into your eyes, nose or mouth. Touching your eyes, nose or mouth after coming in contact with a surface infected with the virus.
What are the symptoms of RSV in seniors?
In adults and older children, RSV can present as: Congested or runny nose. More severe RSV signs include:
- Severe cough.
- Wheezing — a loud noise when a person breathes out.
- Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (your loved one may request to sleep sitting up)
- The skin looks blue due to lack of oxygen (cyanosis)
Can RSV turn into pneumonia?
RSV can cause more serious health problems RSV can also cause more severe infections such as bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways in the lung, and pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. It is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children younger than 1 year of age.
Is RSV fatal?
In most cases, the virus is not fatal. The most severe infections and well-defined high-risk groups, including infants with a history of premature birth, and those with chronic lung disease, congenital heart disease, cystic fibrosis and immunodeficiency .
How do you get rid of RSV?
- Remove sticky nasal fluids with a bulb syringe and saline drops.
- Use a cool-mist vaporizer to keep the air moist and make breathing easier.
- Give your little one fluids in small amounts throughout the day.
- Use non-aspirin fever-reducers such as acetaminophen.
How is RSV transmitted?
RSV is spread through contact with droplets from the nose and throat of infected people when they cough and sneeze. RSV can also spread through dried respiratory secretions on bedclothes and similar items. RSV can remain on hard surfaces for several hours and on skin for shorter amounts of time.
Can adults pass RSV to other adults?
4. Parents and other adults can easily infect young children with RSV. Because RSV symptoms resemble those of the common cold (runny nose, sore throat, mild headache, cough, and sometimes a fever), parents and other adults may not realize they are infected with the virus but can still be contagious.
What medication is used to treat RSV?
Medications to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection include the antiviral drug ribavirin, which can be used in severe high-risk cases, and bronchodilators. The efficacy of bronchodilators or racemic epinephrine in treating RSV disease remains unproved.
Is RSV contagious from adults to adults?
Infections can also occur from direct person-to-person contact such as kissing the face of an infected child. In this way, RSV can be transferred from infants to adults and from infants to pregnant adults.