How new treatments could quiet the ‘perfect storm’ of respiratory viruses – CBC

Families coming to ER are bringing multiple children with fevers, nurse says

Nov 10, 2022

As a virus leaves some babies under the age of two wheezing — adding to the pressure on Canada’s hospitals — drug makers are working on new treatment and vaccine options for the illness.

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, gets the “S” in its name for large cells known as syncytia that form when infected cells fuse. Syncytia are prone to die off and plug up airways, leading to respiratory distress, Dr. Clement Lee, a pediatrician at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass., said in a recent Twitter thread.

For most healthy people, though, the highly contagious virus feels like an ordinary cold.

Dr. Rod Lim, medical director for the pediatric emergency department at Children’s Hospital in London, said while many infants weather RSV just fine, the virus tends to present in young children almost like asthma, with wheezing.

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