Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Respiratory syncytial virus

It's the northern hemisphere "flu" season and the Daily Beast has an article about other diseases that people get and call the flu. This tendency to call every sniffle the flu is a pet peeve of mine.  I was surprised that the main subject of the article was a virus of which I hadn't heard:
RSV is one of many viral respiratory infections that resemble influenza—a confluence that makes public persuasion about taking the influenza vaccine so difficult.  The influenza shot is only protective against influenza, but not RSV or the half-dozen other similar infections that cause the aches and coughs and sniffles that make winter particularly uninviting.

In addition to RSV, the other viruses include human metapneumovirus (HMPV), parainfluenza which despite its name is not that closely linked genetically to influenza, and the groups of “cold” viruses, rhinovirus and coronavirus, that can make a person feel mighty bad.  Plus, as we learned from SARS and more recently from MERS, the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome virus, both coronaviruses, even the relatively wimpy coronas can, under certain conditions, become lethal.
Read more at the Daily Beast.

1 comment :

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    Respiratory Syncytial Virus