(ANSA) – ROME – Not only the very young are more fragile than the respiratory syncytial virus (Vrs). The absence of the virus during the winter of 2020-2021, due to pandemic restrictions, “has created a group (cohort) of children between 1 and 2 years of age without natural immunity to Vrs. In the next autumn winter they could become infected and face severe respiratory forms, now that there are no more restrictions “. The alarm was raised by the president Simri (Italian Society of Infant Respiratory Diseases) Fabio Midulla, on the occasion of the 26th Congress of the Scientific Society in Palermo, confirming what has already been reported by a study in the Lancet.
Already last year, Simri remembers “the anomalous phenomenon of the increase in cases of RSV infection among 2-3 year old children who had not encountered the virus in the first year of life due to Covid restrictions and had manifested episodes of moderate-severe pneumonia and asthmatic bronchitis. Normally the peak season is between December and February, but news arrives from the US that many hospitals are already dealing with numerous cases of hospitalizations due to RSV “. “Unfortunately, to date – adds Midulla – a vaccine is not available, but monoclonal antibodies are on the market for the prevention of infection aimed at children at greater risk of severe forms, such as premature babies, who in the last season were able to to benefit only partially from these drugs given the unexpectedly early circulation of the virus. Waiting for vaccines to be used in women in the third trimester of pregnancy, in September 2022 the EMA approved the use of a new antibody for all newborns fast acting monoclonal, with a long duration of action and offering excellent protection “. Simri recalls the importance of prevention rules, such as washing hands before touching the baby, using a mask in case of a cold, avoiding closed and crowded environments, promoting breastfeeding and avoiding exposure to smoke. RSV causes respiratory infections in more than 33 million children under 5 years of age each year, resulting in more than 3.5 million being hospitalized with severe respiratory infections.
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