Mumbai: Health experts alarmed after respiratory viruses soar
Vulnerable age groups, which comprise children and elders, have fallen victim to this triple whammy
Health experts are concerned about the recent surge in Covid-19 and influenza cases in Maharashtra and India.
They fear this is because of an increase in lower respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) circulation in the atmosphere along with other respiratory viruses like influenza A and B (H3N2, referred to as common seasonal flu) and SARS-CoV-2.
Vulnerable age groups, which comprise children and elders, have fallen victim to this triple whammy.
While there is no vaccine for RSV, the concern is that the public at large has stopped taking precautionary shots for the other two viruses.
Health experts have cautioned citizens to mask up in public and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour to prevent transmission of the viruses.
In recent weeks, RSV circulation in the US and 45 countries of the European Union has intensified, with high transmission rates in all population groups and an almost a month-earlier-than-usual start of the respiratory illnesses than in pre-Covid-19 years.
RSV infections generally cause mild disease, but severe cases are being reported in children below five years, those aged 65 years and above and individuals with underlying comorbidities.
Hospitalisations caused by RSV and other respiratory pathogens are putting pressure on healthcare systems in foreign countries.
There are currently no licensed vaccines available to prevent RSV infection. At present, there are no specific treatment options for RSV, and treatment of hospitalised patients is mainly supportive.