RSV/Synagis Clinic

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a virus that infects the lungs and airways.  RSV can affect anyone of any age, but it is most common in infancy and early childhood.  Almost all children will have been infected with RSV by the time they are two to three years old.

RSV infections tend to occur during colder weather.  The peak RSV season usually lasts from November to April in Canada, but the season may vary.


RSV is usually a mild disease that goes away on its own.  In premature babies and in children less than two years old with certain lung conditions or congenital heart disease, RSV can lead to serious lung infections.  When this happens, babies can become very sick and may require hospitalization.

Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Dehydration
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Other cold-like symptoms

RSV is very contagious and common in crowded living areas and daycare centres.  It can be spread by physical contact with an infected person or through the air by sneezing or coughing.  The virus can also live on surfaces for many hours.

How do we treat patients?

Synagis® (palivizumab) is used to help prevent serious lung infections caused by RSV in children at high risk of RSV disease.  Synagis is given as an injection, usually in the thigh muscle, each month during the RSV season.  Each injection of Synagis will help protect your child for one month before another injection is needed.  A total of five doses can be received.

If a baby comes in contact with RSV, the body will recognize it and be better equipped to fight it.

Synagis is not a vaccine.  No vaccines have been successfully developed against RSV.

Who qualifies for Synagis?

If your baby is less than 33 weeks gestation, he/she will qualify to receive Synagis® during RSV season.

If your baby is born between 33 and 36 weeks gestation, a questionnaire will be completed by your nurse to determine whether or not your baby is eligible.

Specific Medical Illness Considerations

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Airway anomalies

Prevention

Even if your baby is not eligible to receive Synagis®, there are other ways to help reduce your baby’s risk of developing an infection:

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap or alcohol hand rinse before touching your baby
  • If you have a cold or fever, gently hug or stroke (not kiss) your baby
  • Keep anyone with cold symptoms or fever away from your baby
  • Try to keep your baby away from crowded places (i.e. daycares, malls, large family gatherings, etc.)
  • Keep your home smoke-free

Referrals

Our clinic is available mid-November until the end of March.

Babies are screened in the Birthing Centre, NICU and Pediatric Units.

Referrals are accepted from Pediatricians, Family Physicians or the Neonatal Follow Up Clinic.

To have your patient seen in the RSV Clinic, refer to the Kids Care Centre by clicking HERE.

Contact Information

NEO Kids Pediatric ACU

705.523.7120 ext. 3508 or 3545

The RSV Nurse can be reached at 705.523.7120 ext. 3571.

For more information on the RSV Clinic, please email neokidsinfo@hsnsudbury.ca.

For information on the status of your referral, email us at neokidsreferrals@hsnsudbury.ca

 

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