Syncytial virus infection is more dangerous for infants under 1 year old and calls for attention to prevention

Syncytial virus infection is more dangerous for infants under 1 year old and calls for attention to prevention

“Recently, we have found that the number of children with respiratory syncytial virus has increased significantly.” Zeng Mei, deputy director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University, said in an interview on the 30th that syncytial virus is a common and highly contagious respiratory virus. . The virus is particularly dangerous for infants under 1 year old. Infants whose lungs have not yet developed are more likely to suffer from hypoxia, wheezing, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing after being infected with syncytial virus.

The expert said that currently, there are still no effective antiviral drugs for respiratory syncytial virus on the market in the world. For respiratory viral infections, prevention is very important. Although some infants with underlying chronic diseases are prone to severe infections, studies have shown that up to 85% of syncytial virus-related hospitalized infants are born healthy at term without any underlying disease, so all babies need to be protected.

As the Spring Festival approaches and the 2024 Spring Festival travel begins, the National Health Commission recently held a press conference on the prevention and control of respiratory diseases in winter. The meeting emphasized that the current respiratory diseases are showing a common or alternating epidemic situation of multiple pathogens, including influenza virus, respiratory syncytium Viruses and other pathogens are still the main pathogens at the peak of infection.

Zeng Mei introduced that syncytial virus is easily spread through coughing, sneezing, and close physical contact such as hugging and kissing, and is 2.5 times more contagious than rotavirus. “The airways of babies under 1 year old are as thin as the tip of a pencil, and they are more likely to be blocked by swelling, congestion, and cell shedding. Some babies will also suffer from repeated wheezing or asthma after being infected with syncytial virus. This is a sign of impaired lung function. performance, the impact can last for years,” she said.

Zeng Mei said that even after being infected with syncytial virus, the antibodies in the child’s body cannot last for life. Therefore, your child may get recurrent respiratory syncytial virus infections. For infants and young children, infection with syncytial virus can easily cause pneumonia or bronchiolitis, and recovery may take two weeks or even longer. During the recovery period, parents should prevent their children from getting reinfected.

How to prevent respiratory syncytial virus infection? Zeng Mei said that the long-acting monoclonal antibody used to prevent respiratory syncytial virus has been approved for use in China, which is good news for infants and young children. She explained that injecting long-acting monoclonal antibodies means that there is no need to stimulate the immune system to provide protective antibodies, achieving passive immunity and having a more direct effect.

Zeng Mei introduced that the number of children with syncytial virus infection began to increase in November. The epidemic peak season is from December to February of the following year, and the epidemic gradually decreases in April and May in spring. Before and during the respiratory syncytial virus epidemic season, infants under 1 year old can be prevented from syncytial virus infection by injecting long-acting monoclonal antibodies. One vaccination with monoclonal antibodies protects for 5 months. Establish a protective barrier for your baby throughout the respiratory syncytial virus season. Studies have shown that compared with infants without intervention or vaccination, after injection of long-acting monoclonal antibodies, the rate of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus can be reduced by 79.5%.

As the winter and Spring Festival holidays approach, large-scale movements and gatherings of people may accelerate the spread of respiratory diseases. For children, especially infants and young children, the risk of contracting respiratory-related illnesses may be increased. Zeng Mei suggested that during the Spring Festival, when people go out frequently, if they come into contact with patients with respiratory diseases, they should maintain social distance. If they need to be in close contact, it is still necessary to wear a mask, especially those who have not been infected with the flu or received a flu vaccine. You may consider Get your flu shot as soon as possible.

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