Prevention of respiratory syncytial virus infection in infants: Palivizumab is effective but too expensive, and vaccines are unavailable as yet

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Prevention of respiratory syncytial virus infection in infants: Palivizumab is effective but too expensive, and vaccines are unavailable as yet

Publisher
BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Publication Date
May 01, 2004
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Medicine
License
Unknown

Abstract

American Lung Association State of Lung Disease in Diverse Communities 2010 77 Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a very contagious infection of the lungs and breathing passages and is the most common cause of bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the small airways, and pneumonia in children less than 1 year of age . Almost all children in the United States will become infected with RSV by their second birthday .1 While RSV is most common in infants and young children, it can cause respiratory illness throughout life, especially among those with comprised respiratory, cardiac, or immune systems and the elderly.2 Elderly populations are often overlooked when discussing RSV, even though they experience approximately 170,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths related to the disease annually.3 How it spreads RSV is spread through close contact with an infected person. Infection can occur when droplets from a cough or sneeze come into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose, or when someone touches an infected surface or object and then their eyes, mouth, or nose. The virus is often brought in to the home by school-aged children who may have symptoms similar to a cold due to the RSV infection. The virus can spread quickly and usually ends up infecting about half of household members.4 RSV outbreaks follow a seasonal pattern. In temperate climates, such as most of the U.S., the RSV season generally occurs during the fall, winter, and early spring months.5 By contrast, because of its subtropical climate, Florida experiences year-round outbreaks of RSV. From 2000 to 2004, more than 23,000 children under the age of 2 (86% of whom were under the age of 1 year) were hospitalized throughout the state for RSV- related illnesses.6 It is estimated that 75,000 to 125,000 children under the age of one are hospitalized due to RSV each year throughout the U.S.7 Symptoms and treatment Symptoms of RSV include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever,

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