As soon as 21 reports or more of the respiratory syncytial virus are passed on two weeks in a row, there is an epidemic, according to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. The symptoms of the virus resemble those of a cold. In babies and toddlers, it can cause great distress due to inflammation of the small airways or pneumonia. RIVM therefore sees that the number of admissions of children with the virus to hospitals is increasing. The virus is often the cause of respiratory infections in weakened elderly people, but in the Netherlands it rarely leads to death in both groups.
The virus normally occurs in the winter, between November and March, and not in the summer. The number of reports at the summit has fluctuated between 70 and 200 in recent years. Last winter, the corona measures prevented the virus from spreading, because people had less contact with and kept their distance from others and schools and nurseries were closed. With the relaxation of the measures, the virus has more chance to spread again. The same picture is seen in other countries.
later than usual
The epidemic is therefore later than normal, but is progressing at the same pace as in winter. That is why RIVM has informed doctors. “Because doctors have also been alerted to the RS virus during this unusual period, we expect to prevent additional deaths,” RIVM virologist Adam Meijer told the Nederlands Dagblad.
An infection with the RS virus in children is difficult to prevent, according to the RIVM, but washing hands often and using paper tissues reduces the risk.
Source: De Telegraaf by www.telegraaf.nl.
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