UK Approves First RSV Vaccine: What This Means for Children and Adults
The UK’s Medicine and Health Care Product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) gave the green light to GSK’s vaccination against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
According to estimates, RSV causes 14,000 hospital admissions and 8,000 fatalities among persons 60 and older a year in the UK. The cost of RSV to the NHS (National Health Service) was a topic of discussion in government in 2022. Scientific advisers to the UK government have noted evolving RSV infection patterns that may trigger erratic epidemics.
Furthermore, as older individuals are not screened as frequently as young patients with respiratory illnesses, the overall prevalence of infections caused by RSV in adults is probably underestimated.
Arexvy from GSK is designed to prevent RSV-related lower respiratory tract illness (LRTD). Both the United States and Europe have already given their approval for the vaccine’s use. In May, the United States FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved it, and in June, the European Commission (EC).
What causes the RSV virus?
Lung and respiratory tract infections can be brought on by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Most kids have it by the moment they turn two since the virus is so common.
RSV, or respiratory (RSV) symptoms in seniors and more mature, healthy children, are usually mild and resemble the common cold. Usually, taking care of oneself is enough to make any discomfort disappear.
Some persons, such as newborns aged 12 months or younger (infants), particularly preterm infants, older adults, those with heart or lung illness, or those with weakened immune systems (immunocompromised), are susceptible to severe infection from RSV.
Origin of RSV
RSV was initially identified in 1956 when scientists identified a type of virus from a community of sick chimpanzees. The so-called Chimpanzee Coryza Agent(CCA) virus was given that moniker. Robert M. Chanock recognized this virus in 1957 in youngsters with respiratory illnesses. Human antibodies in newborns and children have been studied, and the results demonstrated that infection was widespread in infancy. Human orthopneumovirus or humans respiratory syncytial virus, also known as (hRSV) is the new name given to the virus.
The first symptoms and signs of a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection often appear four to six days after exposure. RSV usually results in mild cold-like symptoms in adults and older kids. These may consist of:
||Runny or congested nose|
||A minor fever|
RSV has a nasty effect on infants. Infants with a severe RSV infection may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Fast, shallow, and short breaths
- Thoracic skin and muscles pulled inside with each breath, causing it harder to breathe.
- Poor nutrition
- Unusual exhaustion or lethargy
Various preventative measures
The primary preventative measure is to stay away from people who are already sick. Proper washing of hands may decrease transmission among people and in daycare settings.
A strict focus on infection control procedures in healthcare facilities can aid in limiting the transmission of RSV to patients at increased risk. It is advised to use alcohol-based disinfectants to clean your hands.
COVID-19 and RSV
The clinical signs for COVID-19 as well as RSV, both of which are respiratory virus types, can overlap in some cases. Children who have COVID-19 frequently develop mild symptoms like fever, runny nose, and cough. Adults with COVID-19 can develop more severe symptoms, including trouble breathing.
Having RSV may reduce immunity and raise the risk of acquiring COVID-19 for both children and adults. And these infections likely overlap, which could make the COVID-19 illness more serious.
Your doctor might advise COVID-19 testing if you show signs of a respiratory illness.
Testing is typically unnecessary to identify the infection since moderate RSV symptoms are comparable to the common cold. However, according to your medical history, the season, and a physical examination, your doctor might suspect RSV. Lab testing might be recommended to verify the diagnosis in this situation. A mouth swab or blood test is the most typical test to monitor white blood cell counts and detect viruses.
Additional testing can be required in severe RSV cases that call for hospitalization. An X-ray of the chest or computed tomography (CT) scan can be used to look for lung issues. When infants are incredibly ill, blood and urine cultures may be required because RSV-related bronchiolitis can coexist alongside an infection of the urinary system in neonates.
Every year, RSV affects millions of young people. The mainstay of patient treatment continues to be supportive care, which includes hydration, feeding, cleaning of the nasal passages, and oxygen, as necessary.
To stop RSV transmission, practice proper handwashing practices and contact isolation. Palivizumab should be given to those with risk characteristics that meet the inclusion requirements to stop RSV infections. Immunocompromised patients may be treated with ribavirin and palivizumab.
New vaccinations may help lessen the financial strain RSV causes in the healthcare system.
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Information By – Aayushi Bhanu