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RESPIRATORY INFECTION VIDEO: Lower Respiratory Tract Infections From Respiratory Syncytial Virus (Interview with Harish Nair, DNB, University of Edinburgh)
RESPIRATORY INFECTION VIDEO: Lower Respiratory Tract Infections From Respiratory Syncytial Virus (Interview with Harish Nair, DNB, University of Edinburgh)

(April 15, 2010 - Insidermedicine)

Among children under the age of five, acute lower respiratory tract infections caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of hospitalization and an important cause of death, particularly in the developing world, according to research published in the April 16 issue of The Lancet.

Here are some recommendations for managing bronchiolitis, from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

•    Diagnose bronchiolitis and assess disease severity on the basis of history and physical examination. Do not routinely order laboratory and radiologic studies for diagnosis

•    Assess risk factors for severe disease such as age less than 12 weeks, a history of prematurity, underlying cardiopulmonary disease, or immunodeficiency when making decisions about evaluation and management of children with bronchiolitis

•    Do not use bronchodilators routinely in the management of bronchiolitis, but a carefully monitored trial of alpha-adrenergic or beta-adrenergic medication is an option.

Researchers out of the University of Edinburgh estimated the incidence of RSV-associated acute lower respiratory infections among children under five by reviewing relevant studies published between January 1995 and June 2009 as well as ten unpublished population-based studies. They also estimated possible boundaries for mortality rates related to the condition using case fatality ratios and data from previous research.

In 2005, an estimated 33.8 million new episodes of RSV-associated acute lower respiratory tract infections occurred worldwide among children aged five and under. Among these, at least 3.4 million were severe enough to necessitate hospital admission. An estimated 66,000 to 199,000 children under five died in 2005 from this condition, with 99% of deaths occurring in developing countries. In any individual setting, incidence and mortality associated with RSV-associated acute lower respiratory tract infections could vary substantially.

We had a chance to speak with Dr. Harish Nair, the principle investigator of the study who offered some further insight.

Today’s research highlights the need to develop novel prevention and treatment strategies for RSV-associated acute lower respiratory tract infections among children under five.

 
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