Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Learn more about RSV vaccination and how our pharmacists at Peak Pharmacy can help you stay safe.

 

What is RSV?

Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious. Infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV and need hospitalisation.

The virus tends to have a seasonal transmission pattern with peak transmissions occurring during the winter months like influenza.  RSV spreads rapidly between humans and is not found in any other animal.

The incubation period for RSV is between 2-8 days and can be caught through respiratory droplets, which are usually coughs and sneezes. So to prevent transmission make sure you cover your mouth when you sneeze and always catch it, bin it, kill it just like the the famous COVID campaign.

RSV is a very common disease, and by 2 years of age most individuals in the UK will have caught the disease, the main cause of bronchiolitis in infants.

Protection against RSV is often only partial and individuals may be infected repeatedly with the same or different strains.    

Current estimates for older adults suggest that there are approximately 1200 deaths per year in patients between 45 and 75 years of age and 4000 deaths in those over 75.

If you are age 60 or older, a vaccine is available to protect you from severe RSV. Talk to one of our pharmacists to see if it’s right for you.