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

Double homicide at Houston nursing home; victims' roommate arrested

Double homicide at Houston nursing home; victims' roommate ...

A double murder occurred late Tuesday night in a Houston nursing home room shared by four men, according to local authorities. Police arrested Guillermo Correa on suspicion of beating two ...

$2 million HIPAA settlement highlights mobile device risks facing healthcare providers

Laptops and other mobile devices containing personal health information have been stolen from long-term care ombudsman programs and other healthcare organizations, including from Concentra Health Services and QCA Health Plan Inc. Now, Concentra and QCA have agreed to legal settlements totaling nearly $2 million, federal ...

Long-term care nurses often 'scramble' to get family members' blessing for palliative ...

Nursing home residents might not transition to full palliative care until they are very near death, at which point nurses and family members act in a state of crisis, suggests recently published research out of Canada.