Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections

Antiviral Drugs in the Immunocompetent Host: Part II. Treatment of Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections - Article

ABSTRACT: Family physicians should be familiar with the various drugs available for treating and preventing viral infections. Part II of this two-part article focuses on agents used to manage influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. Rimantadine and amantadine traditionally have been used to prevent and treat influenza type A infections. The neuraminidase inhibitors zanamivir and oseltamivir have a broadened spectrum of activity in the treatment and prevention of influenza types A and B. Ribavirin has been used in some high-risk infants to treat respiratory syncytial virus infections, and palivizumab can be used for prophylaxis.

Treating Acute Bronchiolitis Associated with RSV - Article

ABSTRACT: Treatment for infants with bronchiolitis caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) includes supplemental oxygen, nasal suctioning, fluids to prevent dehydration, and other supportive therapies. High-risk children who should be hospitalized include those younger than three months and those with a preterm birth, cardiopulmonary disease, immunodeficiency, respiratory distress, or inadequate oxygenation. Inhaled beta2-agonist bronchodilators, the anticholinergic agent ipratropium bromide, and nebulized epinephrine have not been shown to be effective for treating RSV bronchiolitis. However, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality states that nebulized epinephrine and nebulized ipratropium bromide are possibly effective. The appropriate use of corticosteroids remains controversial. They may provide some benefit but meta-analyses of clinical trial results are inconsistent. Prophylaxis with RSV intravenous immune globulin or palivizumab, a human monoclonal antibody, can reduce hospitalization rates in high-risk patients, although difficulties with administering the medications and high costs may preclude their widespread use. The use of common infection-control measures can reduce nosocomial transmission of RSV infections.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Children - Article

ABSTRACT: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an RNA virus that causes respiratory tract infections in children. In the North- ern Hemisphere, the peak infection season is November through April. By two years of age, most children will have had an RSV infection. Bronchiolitis, a lower respiratory tract infection, is often caused by RSV. An RSV infection is diagnosed based on patient history and physical examination. Children typically present with cough, coryza, and wheezing. Laboratory testing and chest radiography are not necessary to make the diagnosis. Serious concur- rent bacterial infections are rare. Treatment of an RSV infection is supportive, with particular attention to maintaining hydration and oxygenation. Children younger than 60 days and those with severe symptoms may require hospitalization. Neither antibiotics nor cor- ticosteroids are helpful for bronchiolitis. A bronchodilator trial is appropriate for children with wheezing, but should not be continued unless there is a prompt favorable response. Frequent hand washing and contact isolation may prevent the spread of RSV infections. Chil- dren younger than two years at high risk of severe illness, including those born before 35 weeks of gestation and those with chronic lung or cardiac problems, may be candidates for palivizumab prophylaxis for RSV infection during the peak infection season. Most children recover uneventfully with supportive care.

Antiviral Drugs in Healthy Children - Article

ABSTRACT: Several antiviral agents are available to treat viral illnesses in healthy children. In some children, treatment with acyclovir is an alternative to vaccination for the treatment and prevention of chickenpox. Acyclovir also can be useful in the treatment or prevention of herpes simplex infections in neonates. Ribavirin, once recommended as routine therapy for high-risk infants with respiratory syncytial virus disease, is now reserved for use in selected children. Amantadine and rimantidine are effective against influenza type A and can be used to protect children from influenza, as well as to lessen the duration and severity of illness in those who are already ill.

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