Increased respiratory illness in children what the rs virus is all about rbb24

Image: dpa/A. Warnecke

A pathogen is reportedly making the rounds among children: the RS virus. This actually occurs more frequently than usual, but is only dangerous for a few children. The most important questions. Answers at a glance.

Runny nose, cough, and fever: a noticeable number of children have been experiencing respiratory infections for the past few weeks that would not actually be expected until the winter months. Affected are mainly under six-year-olds, said Jakob Maske, spokesman for the Federal Association of Pediatricians and Adolescents, the German Press Agency in early October. Due to daycare closures and other Corona measures in the past winter and spring, they had not yet come into contact with certain pathogens. "Infections are now catching up." The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) also reports a sharp increase in hospital admissions for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in young children.

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What is the RS virus?

It is the respiratory syncytial virus (abbreviated RSV or RS virus). The RS virus is actually a normal cold virus, which sometimes brings a little more symptoms than similar cold viruses.

Is the RSV new?

No. The RS virus is a typical winter illness. In infants and young children, RSV is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract illnesses. By the end of the second year of life, almost every child had been infected with RSV once, according to the RKI.

Why now?

During the lockdown and hygiene measures, there were significantly fewer infections. However, the viruses have not disappeared, but are now increasingly spreading again, especially in daycare centers. The Professional Association of Pediatricians and Adolescents (BVKJ) reports an increase in the number of infections since the summer, so that the virus is spreading earlier than in previous years [net]. Major RSV outbreaks among children have already been reported in Israel in May and in the summer months in the USA, Australia and Japan.

What symptoms it triggers?

It is an infection of the upper respiratory tract. Especially in children under three years of age, an infection can lead to pronounced cold symptoms. A cold, cough or sore throat and fever are among the leading symptoms. Mostly the disease is accompanied by a body temperature of more than 38 degrees. Breathing difficulties and problems with food intake are other possible symptoms.

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How do the symptoms of RS and coronavirus differ??

Not at all. Distinguishing RS viral illness from other viral respiratory illnesses – just like Corona – is not easy. RS viruses are similar in seasonality. Symptomatology of influenza. Certainty brings only a test.

For whom is the virus dangerous?

RS viruses are unlikely to be dangerous to older children, teens and adults. Often the infection is even asymptomatic in them. This upper respiratory tract infection can be dangerous, especially for premature babies and children in their first year of life who are already ill. The younger the children, the more likely the course can take a severe form. Especially in children under three months can sometimes develop spastic bronchitis. Pneumonia can also be the result of an infection with the RS virus.

Has the virus already arrived in our region as well?

A number overview for Berlin could not supply so far neither health insurance company nor the panel doctor's association, also the panel doctor's association does not have current numbers according to its own information.

On inquiry of rbb|24 the Evangelical forest hospital in Spandau communicated, it had in September 2021 there 31 admissions of children with "illnesses of the respiratory system" 11 of them were affected by the RS virus. For comparison, in the pre-Corona year 2019, there were 17 children with respiratory illnesses in September, none of whom had RS infection. Tobias Tenenbaum, president of the DGPI and chief pediatrician at Sana-Klinikum Lichtenberg in Berlin, said in early October in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" newspaper [faz.net], since the summer a steady increase of the RSV numbers in the hospitals shows up. "We usually only see numbers like this in December", says Tenenbaum.

We usually see such numbers only in December

How many children have been affected so far?

There are no concrete figures, because RSV infections are not notifiable. However, via the laboratory network of virological laboratories, RSV-. Other infections continuously recorded. Since the summer the numbers rise here – whereby there were normally in the summer otherwise hardly RS infections.

According to the RKI, in the years leading up to Corona, about 60 to 70 one- to four-year-olds were admitted to hospitals each week with severe respiratory infections in the month of September. This year there are twice as many, reported the "Spiegel" [spiegel.en]. RKI expects further increase.

A study published in the journal "The Lancet" published in 2017, 3.2 million children worldwide are hospitalized for RSV each year, 118.200 die from it.

How is the virus transmitted?

Infection is only possible from person to person. It occurs primarily through droplet infection. Doctors also ame that transmission is possible via contaminated hands, objects or surfaces. RSV remains infectious in secretions from the respiratory tract for about 20 minutes on hands, 45 minutes on paper towels and cotton gowns and up to several hours on plastic surfaces. Adolescents and adults play a role as asymptomatic or asymptomatic carriers.

The time between infection and the onset of the disease (incubation period) is two to eight days, on average five days. Already one day after infection and before the onset of the first symptoms, affected persons can excrete viruses and infect other persons. Infected individuals with healthy immune systems are usually contagious for up to eight days. However, for premature and newborn infants and patients with weakened or suppressed immune systems, this may take several weeks to complete.

How the virus is detected?

Whether it is an infection with the respiratory syncytial virus can be determined by the doctor by means of PCR or antigen rapid test. The RS viruses can be detected in the laboratory in a swab taken from the nasopharyngeal secretions of infected patients. Antibody detection with the help of a blood test is only rarely possible, since the body only forms a few antibodies against the RS virus. Therefore, a previous infection does not provide long-term protection against a new infection.

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For elementary school students in Berlin, another piece of normality returns: they no longer have to wear masks in class starting Monday. The daily school routine should thus be less burdensome, the Senate announced. But the decision also faces criticism.

How to treat infected persons?

The therapy consists mainly in combating the symptoms. Nasal drops can make breathing easier, cough syrups relieve scratchy throat and make it easier to cough up, fever-reducing agents regulate temperature. As a rule, the infection subsides on its own. Children who belong to the risk group can be treated prophylactically with antibody therapy.

Is there an active vaccination?

No, there is no vaccine for active immunization. However, for children with risk factors, passive vaccination is available. It contains ready-made antibodies against the RS virus.

Why it is important to know if the RS virus is rampant?

Knowing if RSV is rampant can save lives. Pediatric wards can prepare and keep beds free. In addition, children who belong to the risk group – such as premature babies with lung damage or babies with severe congenital heart defects – can be prophylactically treated with antibodies (Palivizumab). Although these do not prevent children from becoming infected, they do not need to be hospitalized as often.

Broadcast: Abendschau, 04.10.2021, 7:30 p.m

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10 Comments

We close the comment function when the number of comments is so large that they can no longer be moderated in a timely manner. We will also close the comment function if the comments no longer relate to the topic or if a large number of comments violate the rules of our comment guidelines. The comment function is automatically closed for older posts.

After 1.5 years of the pandemic, if you did a little research, you would know that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory infection is.

Covid-19 is a multisystemic vascular disease and it has now been demonstrated that critical biomarkers for vascular and renal damage are also significantly elevated in children after covid disease. In addition, PET has shown inflammatory changes in the brains of children after covid disease.

Due to the novelty of the virus, there is generally no data yet on serious long-term consequences (= after 5-20 years), which occur with many other viruses with mild or even asymptomatic primary infections, and with these z.T. were recognized only after decades, because the research could establish the connection only then (the always deadly SPSS after measles for example, cancer after HPV, CFS after EBV. etc pp).

How one can merrily continue to trivialize this is beyond me.

The questions that "Prenzlauer" questions are sufficiently answered. So why does he put it here? The writing style of him suggests exactly the Corona denier thinking. And what does the government have to do with it?? And what is it supposed to be "responsible" for? be?

What is it about the questions posed by Prenzlauer "out of touch with reality"? Of course, isolating children by all these measures has an impact on the development of the immune system! You do not need to be a virologist for that. Even experts have already commented sufficiently on this in the media. Just read it before you judge other opinions in the comment columns to be inappropriate.

Thanks RBB for the service!

It is sad that such pseudo-critical "inquiries" were only recognized from the covid-denier-corner still find place in comment columns. This is not an expression of concern or lack of knowledge, this is just nonsense. These questions are so far removed from reality, if not completely absurd, that a serious study of them and, if necessary, a serious discussion of them is out of the question. answer is not possible at all.

The first part of your comment is so not quite correct (greetings from a children's ITS), the second part is already in the article (they just used the trade name instead of the active ingredient name).

RSV is only dangerous for premature infants and children with congenital heart defects, and for those there is a vaccine: Synagis

Funny: the article is about RS virus and not about Corona. Are different viruses. Are they virologists?

Funny: In contrast to Corona, these respiratory infections are now downplayed. Are these more dangerous for children than Corona. See number of deaths. What were the consequences of masks and associated lack of immunization processes in children. What happens to children's immune systems, if we have a 2. Get masks winter. When expresses itself times the responsible government to it.

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