BRADES, Montserrat – The Ministry of Health and Social Services has identified the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) as the cause of the recent uptick in cases of respiratory illness in children.
RSV is a common respiratory virus spread via the droplets of an infected person. It most often causes mild cold-like symptoms. However, RSV can pose a serious threat for infants and older adults as it is a common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in these demographics. Parents and guardians of infants and older adults should seek medical attention at first sign of serious infection. Serious signs and symptoms include persistent fever, chest pains, difficulty breathing and cough with yellow or green mucus. Older adults may also experience disorientation or confusion. Residents exhibiting mild symptoms may utilize over-the-counter cough and cold remedies for symptom relief.
All residents are advised by the Ministry of Health to implement measures to prevent further spread of the infection. When coughing or sneezing the mouth and nose should be covered with disposable tissues. Persons should also dispose of used tissues appropriately and practice frequent hand washing. and sanitization.
The ministry further noted that quick identification of the virus in circulation was made possible due to the recent installation of the BioFire System at Glendon Hospital Laboratory. The machine has increased the diagnostic capacity of the Ministry of Health for infectious diseases allowing for quick and accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment.