What older Canadians should know about RSV

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Health and Wellness

Many of us think of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, as a contagious illness that affects young children this time of year. But RSV can seriously impact the health of seniors.

For older adults, the virus can lead to severe infection, resulting in hospitalization and even death. RSV can also worsen existing lung or heart conditions, such as asthma, COPD or congestive heart failure.

“Unlike flu or COVID, there are no treatment options for older adults who become infected with RSV,” says pharmacist Frédérick Coussa. “And, sadly, most deaths attributed to the virus occur in this age group, so prevention is key. Although RSV circulates more in the fall and winter months, infection can happen at any time of the year and it’s not too late to consider vaccination.”

Getting vaccinated now may offer protection through next season too. If you’re 60 or older, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to protect yourself from RSV.

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