Study: Common childhood infection poses dangers to elderly

Share this article:

A dangerous respiratory virus that is commonly found in children appears to be an increasing problem among adults and the elderly, according to results of a recent study. Results are published in the April 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is considered a "bad problem" by researchers at Rochester (NY) General Hospital studying the prevalence of RSV in adults. It runs a close second to influenza in contributing to serious respiratory infections, researchers said. It contributes to about 177,525 hospital admissions each year and 10,000 deaths annually among people 65 and older.

Researchers assessed the respiratory illnesses found in 608 healthy elderly people, 540 high-risk adults and 1,388 people who had been hospitalized four winters straight.  RSV infection was found in 3% to 7% of the healthy elderly people and 4% to 10% of the high-risk individuals.

In the hospitalized group, RSV and complications from the flu had similar rates for intensive care -- 15% and 12%, respectively, and mortality rates -- 8% for RSV versus 7% for the flu.

Share this article:

More in News

Nursing home did not warn worker who was taken hostage in active ...

A nurse at a Life Care Centers of America facility in Colorado was not notified that she would be threatened and taken hostage by a gunman as part of an active shooter drill, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Revisions to False Claims Act urged by former deputy AG

A panel of witnesses debated the merits of the False Claims Act before a Judiciary subcommittee meeting Wednesday, with one former attorney general arguing current policy provokes unfair litigation and "coercive" settlements.

Medicare SNF rate finalized, reimbursements to increase by $750 million next year

Medicare SNF rate finalized, reimbursements to increase by ...

Medicare skilled nursing facility reimbursements will increase by $750 million next year under a final payment rule announced Thursday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.