Respiratory syncytial virus infections in neonates and infants
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Respiratory syncytial virus is one of the major causes of respiratory tract infections during infancy with high rates of hospitalization and mortality during the first years of life. It is the most common cause of acute bronchiolitis and viral pneumonia in children below two years of age and second the most common cause of postneonatal infant mortality all around the world following malaria. In addition, the virus has been causally linked to recurrent wheezing and associated with pediatric asthma. The respiratory syncytial virus infections tend to be severe in high risk patients such as patients below six months of age, with prematurity, congenital heart diseases, neuromuscular diseases and immune deficiencies. No specific treatment is available for respiratory syncytial virus infections to date. Severe cases require supportive therapy, mainly oxygen supplementation and hydration, and less frequently, ventilatory support. Because there is no vaccine to prevent respiratory syncytial virus infections or clinically effective treatment to administer to children with respiratory syncytial virus infection, immunoprophylaxis with palivizumab is currently the only method for reducing morbidity associated with severe respiratory syncytial virus in high-risk infants.
- Makale