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Dr Joseph Aracri Discusses RSV in Infants

Joseph Aracri, DO, Allegheny Health Network, spoke with The American Journal of Managed Care® about preventing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) through immunoglobulin-based treatments and everyday actions.

Joseph Aracri, DO, system chair of pediatrics with AHN Pediatric Institute and medical director of the Medical Nutrition Clinic, Allegheny Health Network, spoke with The American Journal of Managed Care® about preventing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants and young children.

Transcript

How are new vaccines changing treatment of RSV in infants and young children?

The treatment for children, for infants, is not a vaccine, it's an immunoglobulin. So what we're doing is actually giving antibodies to the babies when they're born to help prevent significant RSV disease. That is, RSV disease that will end up in the hospital or frequent visits to the pediatrician's office. We really think that this is going to be a game changer for these kids and hopefully keep them well through their first respiratory season.

What are some other things that parents can do to protect their children from severe infection?

Really, RSV is a very contagious virus that goes around every year. Usually, by the time the kid is 2, they've already had 2 infections. The majority of RSV infections are just runny nose, cough, maybe a low-grade fever. In some kids, fewer than 5%, [they] will have trouble breathing and almost like an asthma-like attack that's associated with it. What can you do to prevent it? It's just basically other things you do to prevent colds. You know, making sure you wash your hands before touching your baby. If somebody is sick, don't have them around your baby. Those kinds of things. But really, the virus is so contagious and all over the place, it's very hard to avoid.

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