Antibody treatments to curb RSV cases in Manitoba babies

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Antibody treatments to curb RSV cases in Manitoba babies

The prophylaxis program RSV of the province provides antibody treatments throughout the winter season. RSVas Dr. Aaron Chiu, the program’s medical director and neonatologist at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, explains.

When we face a cold virus, we create antibodies to fight it next time, or even to fight the current infection.he explains.

Dr. Chiu clarifies: The antibody that we normally make, we give to babies so they have some natural protection against this virus.

the RSV is a virus that affects the small airways of the lungs. It presents with symptoms such as cough, runny nose, fever, and loss of appetite, and it can also affect breathing. In severe cases, it can lead to hospitalization.

We have a lot of slightly older children who shouldn’t be so sick from the RSVand who have many more symptoms requiring hospital care, emergency careadds Dr. Chiu.

Many children do not have antibodies because they were not infected during the pandemic restriction period. »

A quote from Aaron Chiu, program medical director and neonatologist at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital

Dr. Aaron Chiu says Manitoba hospitals see a lot of children who shouldn’t be so sick with RSV.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Alana Cole

The virus is circulating earlier than usual

We usually start having [les cas de VRS] towards the end of November, the beginning of December, and our colleagues across the country are already saying that they are seeing cases of RSV more regularlysays Dr. Chiu.

During the four-month period ending October 31, The Winnipeg Children’s Hospital received a number of children with RSV above normal for this time of year, confirms a spokesperson for Shared Health Manitoba.

There were 48 cases in October, 14 of which required hospitalization.

About 1,000 young children are referred to the program each year in Manitoba, and about 300 babies and young children meet the criteria for treatment, says the spokesperson for the organization which plans and coordinates the integration of preventive and clinical health services. all over Manitoba.

Common Care points out that so far this month there have been a daily average of 180.5 patients in the emergency department at Children’s Hospital, which is an increase of almost 24% over in October.

Antibody treatment doses.

Monoclonal antibody treatment is usually given every four weeks during the RSV season.

Photo: Radio-Canada

The majority of doses of the treatment are given in hospitals and clinics in Winnipeg, but 30 per cent are given outside of Winnipeg by family doctors and rural public health nurses, says Dr. Chiu.

Many common cold and flu symptoms can be cured at home with rest and fluid intake. However, children who have difficulty breathing, who cannot absorb liquids or who are extremely tired should be taken to the nearest emergency room, said the spokesperson for Shared Health Manitoba.

With information from Alana Cole

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