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

Also in the news for Sept. 22, 2014

ER support program can reduce hospital admissions among seniors, study says ... Researchers find defect that may lead to Alzheimer's ... Technical glitch may cause milions in payment delays for physicians who adopted EHRs

Enterovirus hits KY nursing home

Nine residents at the Heritage Hall nursing home are confirmed to have a strain of enterovirus, according to local reports.

AHCA applauds Senate passage of IMPACT Act

The Senate approved the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act, drawing praise from the American Health Care Association and the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care.