Respiratory syncytial virus is spread through coughing and sneezing, touching surfaces that contain the virus, or through contaminated hands.
Cases of the syncytial virus in the Hospital del Niño Dr. José Renán Esquivel continue, health authorities in Panama warn of an occupation of 90% of beds in intensive care units (ICU) in that hospital.
The head of Public Health of the San Miguelito district, Max Ramírez expressed that the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an acute respiratory infection that mainly affects children under two years of age and although it regularly occurs in the time that winter begins between the months of June and November), this 2021 was early.
Ramírez indicated that at the beginning of the winter in April “there have been several cases of respiratory infections, mainly due to the respiratory syncytial virus, which is determined at the hospital level and with a sentinel site system in the Ministry of Health).
From February to May 25, 2021, at the Children's Hospital, a total of 369 cases of RSV were detected by antigen tests and RT-PCR in nasopharyngeal swabs.
VRS transmission mode
RSV is spread through coughing and sneezing, touching surfaces that contain the virus, or through contaminated hands.
Symptoms include: low-grade fever or absence of fever, runny nose or nasal congestion, and in a significant number of cases, after 3 days, respiratory distress with tachypnea (rapid breathing) occurs.
The syncytial virus can cause serious infections in the lungs, manifesting as bronchiolitis (infection of the small airways of the lungs) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs).
It also manifests itself in the same way that the common cold does; therefore, it is only when it evolves into respiratory distress or pulmonary manifestations, which would force the parent or caregiver to go to a doctor with the child.
Treatment and prevention
For this virus there is no specific treatment and there is still no approved vaccine
for use in the population, therefore, prevention is the only method that can help reduce the spread of cases:
- Avoid putting your hands to your face.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water.
- Be careful not to take young children to crowded places.