Many babies with respiratory syncytial virus in Switzerland
The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RS virus), which causes serious respiratory diseases, is currently rampant in Switzerland. Infection with the RS virus can be particularly dangerous for babies and toddlers. Doctors therefore call on parents to be vigilant. However, deaths are rare.
RS virus can be dangerous for babies In Switzerland, the insidious respiratory syncytial virus is spreading further. Several thousand babies and toddlers have already been infected with the highly contagious RS virus. Exact numbers are not known, however, because the symptoms of the virus are similar to those of a flu-like infection, including respiratory problems.
The RS virus can be particularly dangerous for infants, requiring inpatient treatment in the hospital. Infection with the RS virus usually causes a fever of 38 to 39.5 degrees in small children, the nose begins to run and coughing and breathing difficulties occur. Often the little patients do not drink enough anymore because the breathing difficulties make drinking difficult. However, dehydration quickly leads to a serious condition. Parents who notice signs of this in their children should seek medical help immediately.
Another complication of RSV infection can affect the bronchi and bronchioles. The narrow and short airways in young children can be affected, which can cause bronchiolitis with impaired oxygen intake. If toddlers are very pale, their fingernails are bluish, they show indentations in the area of the costal arch and between the ribs and they breathe quickly with their nostrils, this is a sign of insufficient oxygen saturation in the blood. The patient should be taken to a hospital immediately, where their condition is constantly monitored. The main indicators are oxygen saturation and drinking volume, but also EKG and breathing frequency.
Almost all toddlers suffer from the RS virus at least once in their lives According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 40 to 70 percent of all toddlers experienced an RSV infection once during the first year of life and by the end of the second year of life .
A viral infection cannot be treated with drugs such as antibiotics, so the therapy is only aimed at alleviating the symptoms. The outpatient treatment of children suffering from the RS virus initially focuses on keeping the airways as free as possible. "We see whether the child receives enough oxygen and whether he can still drink," reports pediatrician Oliver Adam from the Solothurn children's group practice to the "Aargauer Zeitung". Most children could go home afterwards. "We only send a small percentage of the treated children to the hospital." There is no need to panic for parents. "Deaths are rare," says Adam. (sb)
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Image: Electron microscope image of a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)