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Update on RSV

Monday, January 9, 2017

Medics at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre are asking people with cold or flu like symptoms not to visit patients at the hospital. 

The appeal comes after 15 patients tested positive with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). 

In-patients at the Beatson are particularly susceptible to viruses, so it’s important that any visitors who have experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms do not visit friends and family until at least 48 hours after the end of symptoms. 

Visitors who do not have symptoms of the cold or flu are asked to observe temporary visiting times between 2-4pm and 6-8pm. 

One patient who had tested positive with RSV, and had already been giving cause for concern, has sadly passed away. 

Four of the patients have already been discharged home. Ten patients remain acrossthe two wards but none are giving any cause for concern as a result of the RSV. 

Wards with patients showing symptoms do not admit new patients as a precautionary measure and the wards are closely monitored with strict infection control measures in place. 

RSV is a viral illness which normally resembles a cold and is self limiting. It is particularly prevalent at this time of year and is common in the community.  

It is the most common germ that causes lung and airway infections in infants and young children. Most infants have had this infection by the age of two although it can re-occur.  

In young children and ‎adults with compromised immune systems the illness can be more severe and cause pneumonia.  

Dr Teresa Inkster, Consultant Microbiologist and Infection Control Doctor, NHSGGC, said: “If you have any cold or flu like symptoms, please do not visit loved ones in the Beatson until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared up. 

“I’d also urge all visitors are being urged to remember the importance of hand hygiene when entering and leaving hospital premises.” 

Dr Inkster also expressed her sympathies for the family of the patient who has died. 

She continued: “Nine patients are recovering in isolation and in line with infection control procedures, but none are giving any cause for concern as a result of the RSV. 

“The other four patients have already been discharged home. 

“All appropriate infection control measures are in place.” 

While more common in young children it can occur in people of all ages. It is spread by tiny droplets and sneezing or by touching surfaces with the virus on it.  

The best way to control is to use tissues when coughing and sneezing and washing hands regularly.  

The incubation period for RSV is five to seven days and the illness usually lasts about a week. Parents with children showing symptoms and adults with underlying heart and lung disease or impaired immune systems who are displaying symptoms should, if concerned, either see their GP or ring NHS 24. 

Symptoms in babies include: 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • High fever
  • Thick discharge from the nose
  • Cough producing yellow, green, or gray mucus
  • Unusual irritability or inactivity
  • Refusal to breastfeed or bottle-feed

 Symptoms in adults include: 

  • A cough
  • A stuffy or runny nose
  • A mild sore throat
  • An earache
  • A fever

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