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The problem, the consequences, and rapid testing solutions

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the most common cause of both severe respiratory illness such as bronchiolitis (inflammation of the bronchioles) in young children aged under two years and of hospital admissions due to acute respiratory illness in young children.1

In industrialized countries, it is the single most important cause of severe respiratory illness in and hospitalizations of infants and young children.2 In the USA alone, from 85,000 to 144,000 infants with RSV infection are hospitalized annually, resulting in 20%-25% of pneumonia cases and up to 70% of bronchiolitis cases in the hospital.2 Global RSV disease burden is estimated at 64 million cases and 160,000 deaths every year.2

The Problem

Though most RSV infections do not result in hospital admission, infections are rarely asymptomatic.3,4 Symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and fever are similar to those of other common respiratory infections. Patients presenting with these symptoms are often treated empirically with antibiotics, without a formal diagnosis. 

Although there is no specific treatment for RSV, diagnosis is very important. An accurate diagnosis allows infection control measures to be implemented, and enables the physician to withhold antibiotics, which are not effective against viruses.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

The Consequences

Several studies have documented that physicians feel pressured by parents to prescribe antimicrobials for respiratory infections. Overprescribing of antibiotics for viral illness is a factor contributing to increasing antimicrobial resistance among bacterial pathogens encountered in pediatrics.5 Infants and children with RSV infections typically recover in 1 to 2 weeks, however, even after recovery, very young infants and those children who have weakened immune systems can continue to spread RSV for 1 to 3 weeks.6

If a proper diagnosis is not made, suitable infection control measures may not be implemented and infected children could continue to spread the virus.

Rapid Testing

The rapid and accurate detection of RSV facilitates appropriate clinical management, including judicious antibiotic usage.ID NOW™ delivers molecular RSV results in 13 minutes or less on our unique ID NOW™ platform. Traditional laboratory methods and rapid antigen testing for RSV diagnosis have considerable shortcomings in terms of turnaround time or performance.7,8 ID NOW™ RSV allows you to make real-time clinical decisions which impact patient care.

Alere™ i RSV

A specific diagnosis allows clinicians to avoid subjecting their patients to unnecessary tests and enables prompt initiation of appropriate supportive care.7,9

ID NOW™ RSV now CLIA waived!

Abbott also offers a range of lateral flow tests to aid in the rapid diagnosis of RSV, including BinaxNOW® RSV.