this medical video looks into babies who are at risk of Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and why certain children are more at risk than others.
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Male Speaker 1: Little babies who wheeze very young get a disease called RSV and they wheeze a fluid. Is that mean they are going to be an asthmatic or that the infection RSV is making them wheeze, what’s that story about? Male Speaker 2: RSV is one of the most common viruses that children are infected with. In fact within the first two years of life, virtually every child has been infected by this virus at least once. Most children, who get RSV infection, get nothing more than a running nose, mild cough which goes away in 5 to 7 days but that’s 25% to 30% of these children will go on to develop wheezing and difficulty breathing and some of these children actually end up in the hospital to care for these episodes. What we have learned is that the children who wheeze from their RSV infection do have a higher risk of developing asthma as they get older but it is not a 100 percent risk and so what we tell parents is that if children are wheezing from their RSV then we need to monitor them closely over the next several years so that if asthma develops we can treat it promptly minimizing future problems. Male Speaker 1: If a certain group you heard about got it, what group of that be, be the most risky group, is that big babies, little babies, what group is that? Male Speaker 2: Well, certainly there are children who have greater risks of having serious problems when they develop RSV infection and we have characterized those children into certain groups. The groups that are at the greatest risk are babies who have been born prematurely. Babies born prematurely have lungs which are either not fully developed at birth or have lung development after birth, which is slightly different than a full-term baby. This difference in lung development makes these children at significantly greater risk for having wheezing and more serious problems when they get their RSV infection. Male Speaker 1: These tiny premature is like may be 30, 32 weeks, really at high risk, is there we can do so they don’t get so sick? Male Speaker 2: Certainly, there are a number of different strategies that we use. The first of course is to try to minimize the risk of getting that infection at the earliest age. So we want minimal exposure to other children who may be carriers of the virus, we want to make sure that anybody who touches or handles these children, wash their hands properly and are otherwise not sick. Once we take these usual precautions to minimize exposure, the next thing we do is to immunize these patients with a new vaccine, which prevents the serious form of the RSV infection. This vaccine is called Synagis and is required to be given once a month throughout the high risk time of year that is from October through March in the Eastcoast. In other areas of the country, the risky time of year may be slightly different but generally we give this vaccination once a month for a five to six month period during this high risk period to minimize the seriousness of RSV infection if the premature infants contracted. Male Speaker 1: We see a premature, how prematured is child had to be to being considered to get this vaccine. Male Speaker 2: Any prematured child can be considered for this vaccine and then there are various risk factors which we factor in to decide which child actually gets it or not but the starting point is always prematurity or by itself. The more prematured the child is the greater their risk and so the greater likely that is I think would qualify. Children that are near-term 30, 40, 36 weeks would need several other risk factors before they would be required to get the RSV Synagis vaccination.