RSV infections can be dangerous for certain adults. Each year, it is estimated that more than 177,000 older adults are hospitalized and 14,000 of them die in the United States due to RSV infection.
Adults at the highest risk for severe RSV infection include:
- Older adults, especially those 65 years and older
- Adults with chronic heart or lung disease
- Adults with weakened immune systems
Severe RSV Infections
When an adult gets a RSV infection, they typically have mild cold-like symptoms. However, RSV can sometimes lead to serious conditions such as:
- Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs.
- More severe symptoms for people with asthma.
- More severe symptoms for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD, a chronic disease of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe.
Congestive heart failure, a condition when the heart can’t pump blood and oxygen to the body’s tissues.
Older adults who get very sick from RSV may need to be hospitalized, some may even die. Older adults are at greater risk than young adults for serious complications from RSV because their immune systems are weaker.
If You Or A Loved One Is At High Risk For Severe RSV
RSV season occurs each year in most regions of the U.S. during fall, winter and spring. If you are at high risk for a severe RSV infection or if you have interacted with an older adult, you should take extra care to keep them healthy.
Here are some precautions to take:
- Wash Your Hands Often
Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Keep Your Hands Off Your Face
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands!
- Avoid Close Contact With Sick People
Avoid close contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or eating utensils with people who have cold-like symptoms.
- Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Be sure to throw that tissue in the trash afterward.
- Clean and Disinfect Surfaces
When people infected with RSV touch surfaces and objects, they can leave behind germs. Also, when they cough or sneeze, droplets containing germs can land on surfaces and objects. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people frequently touch such as: toys, doorknobs, and mobile devices.
- Stay Home When You Are Sick
If possible, stay home from work, school, and public areas when you are sick. Staying isolated will help protect others from becoming ill.
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent RSV. However, scientists and clinical research facilities such as Tekton Research are working hard to develop one. Tekton is actively looking for senior adults (60+) to participate in a paid investigational vaccine study.
To learn about Tekton Research’s RSV Vaccine trial, click here!