HOUSTON – As the old and young come together this holiday season, doctors are warning not to let COVID overshadow another dangerous virus.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) typically impacts children under two, premature infants and adults over 65.
Right now, there is no treatment for RSV, but a vaccine that’s been in the works for a decade could soon save lives, but they need more volunteers to enroll in the trial.
While RSV typically starts in October and ends in April, this year, Houston hospital started hospitalizing children in July and the virus has continued to infect the very young and those over 65.
Much like the flu, RSV took a break last year when people were strict with health precautions. But now, it’s come back with a vengeance, leaving local researchers to stress the importance of more research and a vaccine to save lives.
“Scientists have been researching a vaccine for RSV prevention for a decade, so this is really groundbreaking research,” Dr. Bonnie Colville, DM Clinical Research Investigator said. “I think after seeing COVID, I believe most people would agree with this. We want to prevent any type of pandemic associated with a virus or any other infection as much as possible.”
RSV ranges in symptoms from minor to severe, which includes a runny nose, headache, cough, fever, sore throat.
Pediatricians advise that patients seek emergency care if they see discoloration of the skin or difficulty breathing.
Currently, there are no treatments except to treat symptoms with Tylenol, nasal spray, a humidifier.
Thomas Crosier is participating in the local vaccine study and hoping a future vaccine will help people in his age group.
“I see this as a great opportunity to be able to provide information to health services, especially for older senior citizens so they can get some information that will hopefully improve our healthcare in the future,” Crosier said.
DM Clinical is still enrolling people 60 and up for the vaccine trial. Once the trials are over, there’s a potential they could move toward a vaccine for children, but this part of the trial is expected to last about a year and a half.