RSV in our community.
Coughs and colds happen throughout the year in tropical countries although they’re most commonly encountered during the rainy season. The infections may be caused by a number of viruses; one of particular note is the Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV).
In recent weeks there have been media reports that RSV is causing more cases in Thailand this year than normal. Cases have been diagnosed in Hua Hin also. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to briefly inform you about the nature of RSV illness, which people are at most at risk from the infection and the best steps to take to avoid this virus.
What is RSV?
RSV is not a new virus. It occurs all around the world and causes seasonal respiratory infections each year. This year the peak activity in Thailand appears to be a month or two later than usual and news reports suggest that it’s more severe this year also.
For most adults and children, getting RSV infection results in nothing more than a minor cough and cold. Sadly, for infants in the first year of life and for small children with birth defects of the heart, lungs or immune system it can be a much more serious infection.
RSV is increasingly being recognised as a potentially serious infection in adults with weakened immune systems too. This group, unfortunately, includes anyone over the age of 65 – because the ageing process itself reduces the immune system’s ability to fight off infection.
Although most cases of RSV infection just result in a mild cold, for high-risk groups it can be a serious and sometimes even a life-threatening illness.
What are the symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of RSV are very similar to those of the common cold, namely: coughing and wheezing, having a fever, runny nose, fatigue and loss of appetite. If you are showing any of these symptoms or have been in close contact with an infected person you might consider contacting your doctor to discuss getting an RSV test.
The high-risk groups (ie children under 2 years old, people over 65, etc) have greater potential to develop severe respiratory problems from RSV and sometimes need hospital treatment. Accordingly, it’s wise for those at higher risk to take preventative measures during the time when RSV is widespread and, if showing any symptoms, make an appointment for a medical assessment.
In babies, feeding difficulties and a fast rate of breathing along with visible in-sucking of the ribs with each breath are typical symptoms of a more serious RSV infection. Please have your baby assessed without delay in such an event.
The RSV test and treatment.
A nasal swab sample can be taken and tested for RSV and the test results are back to you in 15 minutes. This test is available at the Be Well Medical Center.
At the moment, there is no specific medication that targets RSV. If you are not in the high risk group and are not having severe symptoms your doctor will advise you to keep warm, drink plenty of water and get enough bed rest. In hospital, RSV infection is usually managed with extra oxygen and other supportive measures.
The preventative measures currently advised for Covid-19 (frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your face, wearing a face mask and social distancing) will similarly reduce RSV transmission also and are the best way to minimise your chances of getting RSV.
If you would like to make an appointment to see one of our doctors in regard to RSV or any other health concerns please Click Here
The rapid test for RSV is THB 500 Members and THB 650 Non Members with your results back to you in 15 minutes.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 111 6644