Our Mission: Conquer RSV!

What is RSV?

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a highly contagious viral infection that primarily affects the respiratory system. It is a member of the Paramyxoviridae family and is a common cause of respiratory illnesses, particularly in infants and young children. RSV can lead to a range of symptoms, from mild cold-like symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and congestion to more severe respiratory conditions like bronchiolitis and pneumonia. In adults and older children, RSV infections generally resemble a common cold, but in infants and those with compromised immune systems, it can result in severe respiratory distress and hospitalization. RSV spreads through respiratory droplets and is a significant concern, especially during the winter months when it tends to be more prevalent.

RSV in Newborns

Respiratory Syncytial Virus poses a significant and potentially life-threatening risk to newborns. As their immune systems are still developing, infants, particularly those born prematurely or with underlying health conditions, are highly susceptible to severe RSV infections. The virus can lead to bronchiolitis or pneumonia, causing breathing difficulties, coughing, wheezing, and, in severe cases, respiratory failure. Newborns with RSV may require hospitalization and intensive care, which can be emotionally and financially taxing for families. Additionally, RSV infections in early life may increase the risk of future respiratory issues, such as asthma. Given the vulnerability of newborns, preventive measures such as vaccination and hygiene practices are crucial to safeguarding their health against RSV.

RSV in Adults

While Respiratory Syncytial Virus is commonly associated with illnesses in infants and young children, it also poses notable risks to adults, especially those with compromised immune systems, chronic lung diseases, or the elderly. RSV can lead to serious respiratory complications in adults, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, which may require hospitalization and can be life-threatening. In healthy adults, RSV infections tend to manifest as mild cold-like symptoms, but for those with underlying health conditions, the virus can exacerbate their preexisting issues, leading to prolonged illness and decreased lung function. Furthermore, RSV can be easily transmitted to vulnerable populations, making it crucial for caregivers and healthcare workers to take precautions to prevent its spread to those at greater risk.

Upcoming 2023 RSV Research Studies

  • Evaluation of a new treatment administered during pregnancy to prevent RSV in newborns
  • Evaluation of a new treatment administered to newborns to prevent RSV

Learn More about RSV Montana

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