Over the past several years, you may have heard the term RSV, or Respiratory syncytial virus for short. As this virus becomes more prominent—as it has increasingly become—you’ll most likely hear it mentioned more frequently.
In short, RSV is an infection that targets your respiratory system—and it doesn’t play favorites. It can affect anyone who comes in contact with it; however, it can become more severe in the following populations who are at more risk:
- Those with weakened immune systems
- People with chronic lung and heart conditions
- Older adults
- Infants under age 1
- Children exposed to cigarette smoke
How Do I Know If I Have RSV?
Because RSV most often occurs when it’s cold outside, your chances of contracting it in fall, winter, and early spring are greater. Plus, if you have a child (or several) who attends school or pre-school, your chances will also increase. It can get passed around easily in those types of close quarters.
With symptoms that are often the same as a common cold, it can be difficult to diagnose RSV on your own. And if not treated correctly, your condition can become serious. The most common symptoms include:
- Low-grade fever
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Dry cough
More serious symptoms that should be attended to by a physician immediately include:
- Difficulty breathing
- High fever
- Blue skin around lips and fingernails
- Lethargy and irritability in children and infants
You will want to see your doctor to determine if you do indeed have RSV. If severe enough, it can turn into pneumonia or bronchitis—which can be dangerous for the populations listed above. X-rays, blood tests, and breathing tests are the most common ways your physician will check if you have the virus.
How Do I Treat RSV?
The most common treatment is to drink plenty of fluids and to do nothing much other than rest. Over-the-counter drugs may be prescribed with more serious cases.
If you live in or near Salt Lake City, Utah, and are age 60+, there is another option you may want to inquire about.
Senior RSV Vaccine Study
Jean Brown Research is conducting a clinical research study for an investigational RSV vaccine for seniors 60 years or older. Participants that are selected for the study will receive a no cost RSV vaccination, health care related to the study, and compensation for time and travel.
Basic qualifications are:
- 60 years or older
- Male or Female
- Cannot have had a RSV vaccine before
If you qualify, you may receive:
- Study related exam
- No cost investigational RSV vaccination
- Compensation for time and travel related to the study
Contact us to learn more about participating in the RSV Vaccine Study today.