Health Watch - Winter Survival: Winter Viruses

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about winter survival strategies. Respiratory illnesses are common at this time of year, including colds, flu and one you may not have heard of — respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. That’s the leading cause of viral respiratory infections in children worldwide.

Dr. Asuncion Mejias, a pediatrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says this virus can cause bronchitis and pneumonia in high-risk groups, including children with asthma, lung problems or heart problems. Almost all children have had an RSV infection before the age of 3. To help prevent infections, doctors suggest washing hands frequently, wiping down household surfaces and keeping children away from people who are sick. High-risk children may benefit from injections of RSV antibodies during the winter.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/pediatrics to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.

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January 2009

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