Respiratory Syncytial Virus

1629 Words May 23rd, 2012 7 Pages
Running Head: RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS

Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Breanna Kennelly

Apollo College

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) causes acute respiratory tract infection in patients of all ages and is one of the most popular diseases of childhood. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, which manifests primarily as bronchiolitis and/or viral pneumonia, is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract (LRT) infection in infants and young children. RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia in children under one year of age in the United States. During the first year of life, most infants are infected with the virus. Most RSV infected children encounter
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RSV is more prevalent during winter and early spring in temperate climates, although timing may differ among locations. In most cases, healthy infants infected with RSV do not need to be hospitalized, recovery from illness usually occurs in about one to two weeks. Adults with compromised immune systems and premature infants and children with congenital heart and lung defects are at a higher risk for severe disease and hospitalization (www.aapredbook.com). RSV infection is limited to the respiratory tract. Respiratory Syncytial Virus affects the respiratory system causing an interruption of the normal physiology of the lungs which are the main organs affected. The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped bodies that occupy the thorax. The lungs have two vital functions air distribution and gas exchange. In addition to attending as an air distribution pathway and gas exchange surface the components of the respiratory tract cleanse, warm and humidify inspired air. RSV affects the lungs by inflaming the small airways and decreasing the oxygen flow in and out, thereby affecting the capacity for normal oxygen exchange. Initial infection in young infants or children frequently involves the LRT and most often manifests as the clinical entity of bronchiolitis. Inoculation of the virus occurs in the URT in respiratory epithelial cells [ (Leonard R Krilov, 2010) ]. Spread of the virus down the respiratory tract occurs by…

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